Here at Manchester’s most ingenious award-winning PR agency we pride ourselves on being quick to pick up on the latest digital developments. Which is no mean feat, given how quickly this landscape changes.
The latest platform to catch our eye goes by the name of Itcher, a website, online magazine and mobile app that’s been a long time coming in many ways. Think TripAdvisor, only for the entertainment world, and you’re in the right ball park.
Put simply, then, the core offering is centred on said mobile app, with users able to leave recommendations for everything from films to books, albums to TV shows. These advisory messages then serve to highlight the best quality content, helping people gain an honest understanding of whether a movie, LP or novel is actually worth spending any time on.
It doesn’t end there, though. Itcher’s social networking aspect is rather innovative to say the least as it uses those recommendations to link like-minded folk together. In short, it becomes very easy to make online contacts with people who share the same tastes as you, rather than connections being forged through shared friends, working relationships or the ability to wax lyrical in 140 characters, as is the case with the big three- Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Coupled with the Itcher online magazine– which is crammed with articles relating to art, culture, cinema literature and music- and we can’t help but show some respect. With constantly updated written content assisting the overall brand’s SEO, thus ensuring the web browsing Joe or Josephine on the street will remember the name, it seems as though the future is rather bright for this new addition to the online world.
It’s also indicative of a trend we’ve been commenting on for some time now. Put simply, the doors are apparently closing when it comes to opportunities to successfully launch a major, ‘generic’ social network (as is proved by the rapid growth followed by demise in engagement and use on Google+). In contrast, ‘niche networks’- whether that’s Pinterest, SoundCloud or Itcher- wherein members join for a more specific reason than simply staying in touch with people and advertising their inner-most thoughts, seem to have plenty of life left in them, which makes perfect sense given these platforms are focusing down on our personal and career interests- from pet ownership to audio production, amateur to pro photography- and we predict these networks will claim ever greater percentages of our free time online in the coming months, especially given the ongoing backlash agains bigger, less specialist platforms.