Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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Yacha is a multimedia messaging app that is cross between a social network and Snapchat, as users are invited to explore nearby profiles of friends and strangers alike, able to view broadcast messages and send them, one at a time. Is Yacha exploring uncharted territory in social networking, or does it make itself redundant by combining too many defining features into one package?
Well, a bit of both really. Anyone familiar with Snapchat will feel right at home with the minimal and colorful interface, especially in the camera and video recording modes (though the rest of the interface feels slightly cluttered). Yacha has a couple of extra tricks up its sleeve though, with a drawing mode, voice recording (that can be layered over pictures), and a notepad to write messages on. Users can send up to 5 frames at once, culminating in a multimedia mega-message.
However, all 5 frames share the same time limit, so users must switch between frames - cutting videos and audio short - if they want to see all of the content. Taking a screenshot will save that frame to the 'locker' area, and will also end the slideshow early. The fact that users can't even go back and forth between frames at make it a feature that is honestly somewhat stupefying. Why go to the trouble of creating content if people won't see all of it, especially if each broadcast only has a one-use policy?
Users can invite friends via email, Facebook, and text, or explore random profiles based on distance or random luck. It's obviously a more risky approach, since content is public and therefore isn't all necessarily safe for work. Messages can be either public or private, but the idea is to build followers like any other social network, broadcast thoughts or experiences, and connected with one another.
Unfortunately, Yacha feels like it just hasn't found its identity yet. With the disappearing frame issue it doesn't qualify as a SnapChat competitor, nor is it ground-breaking enough to be contender for the social networking crown.