Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone Integration Rating:
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Kinkle, a new social networking app, grabbed me with its catchy name. It has nice onomatopoeia - like wrinkle, twinkle, and Kris Kringle. There is a shimmer to it. "Kinkle" is catchy and easy to remember. It makes me think toasty, happy thoughts. It's an attractively-designed app with a strongly identifiable logo. As the photos show, the "k" in Kinkle is upside down. This is a superb design choice for launching the app into wider networks and broader usage.
The classic red and white interface packs a punch with its understated graphics. Because Kinkle is, for now, more of an app used in countries other than the US, the interface and design call to mind international connectedness and efforts for peace. The typical divisive mechanisms of Facebook (politics, values, and religion) are dissolved on Kinkle.
I'm thirsty for some real, fleshed-out, and useable content. Again, my broken record report is that nothing I run across is sufficiently compelling to lure me from Facebook and other social media. Facebook's logo is iconic because of what it did, how it did it, and because it was first. Facebook's aesthetics don't change much because they don't have to. Kinkle is wonderfully designed, but the content - including people searches, chat, photo uploads, and maps - needs more of a unified purpose. To use Kinkle, I can either log in via Facebook as per usual, or sign up with a new account in-app.
Creating an account on Kinkle keeps me more off the grid. And if I don't sign up through Facebook, small in-app purchases of $0.99 allow me to turn off ads or do more intensive, directed searches. I also have the option to do a 30 second Flash message for a $0.99 fee. These are affordable, sensible offerings. If, for example, I look for my long-lost college roommate, I am precise with my search and don't have to spend multiple hours sorting for needles in haystacks of common names, married names, or alter egos of people I may know. This is a huge selling point for Kinkle, pared down with a capacity for refined searching. It poses itself as an app catered to more genuine, less public, and more professional/personal connecting.
Kinkle has the potential to carve out a niche angle amidst the giants of social media. This, of course, remains a longshot since so many sites and apps do variations of social networking well and have a following because they are already established. It's a good idea, but beyond the surface-slick looks Kinkle needs significant beefing-up with content and more of a reputation if it wants to take off.