Last Friday afternoon, the internet started buzzing about a new social app called Peach. Wondering why everyone was tweeting about this prompted me to download the app and try it out and these are my thoughts on it.
What is it?
Peach is sort of like Slack and sort of like Twitter and sort of like Messenger. You post to a timeline with text, taking a photo, or using handy word commands such as ‘draw’ that will pull up the ability to draw a post or ‘gif’ that will let you search for a gif to post. There are plenty of other commands to try out and you don’t need to remember all of them because you can always type ‘help’ to get a list.
You add your phone number and allow Peach to search your contacts to see if any of your friends have signed up. You can also add a friend by username if you know it, but unfortunately Peach doesn’t suggest names for you or pull up a sample profile so you know it’s the right person. You have to wait until you click the button to find out if that user exists.
Friends can view your posts and comment on them and much like Twitter you can write a post and use @ to tag a friend in the post. Friends can wave at you or ping your post with a few set commands such as quarantine or cake. I’m not sure what caking someone is but I am pretty sure it probably came from this.
The timeline allows you to see a list of your friends and a green light shows you that friend has posted something you haven’t seen yet which is nice. You can also easily see who your friends are connected to and add more friends via this method.
From a UX side I found a few things that I think could use improvement.
Going back to your timeline will erase the post you were working on, I feel like there should be a message or alert or the post should cache to prevent that from happening.
Flagging inappropriate content can be found in the icon that is for sharing. If you look at someone’s post and see the share button, press it and you will get two options, one is share (positive) and the other is flag (negative). I am happy to see there is a way to flag inappropriate content but I feel like the labeling should be more instructional such as “flag as inappropriate.” I mention this because historically flagging has a vague meaning in relation to systems, on iOS and Outlook mail flag is still used to star emails. Kate Crawford and Tarleton Gillespie wrote a great piece on this a couple of years back and I think it’s a great read for anyone interested in UX and design of apps.
The Camera function is extremely limited, there isn’t a way to crop photos or touch them up, I find it’s much easier to take a photo and set it up in the default app and then select it to share in Peach. You can add a few photos together in a layout like you can with Layout for Instagram which is neat. I also took some video and noticed the sound auto plays if you have your headphones on or the phone isn’t set to vibrate only.
Unlike Slack where you can create channels, Peach doesn’t have this function and it’s really a shame as I can easily see as your friends list grows you might want to channel them out into groups.
Brands and marketing
Some brands have been joining Peach, but from a UI perspective, it seems like a lot of work for a brand to keep up. If I were to add Vice (which I did last night), I can’t see anything Vice posts until they add me back which they did about 24 hours later. And as this article by Digiday states, Mirriam Webster has racked up about 1,000 friends, but I don’t feel like Peach is the type of app you’re supposed to rack up a bunch of friends on. It seems better suited for your close knit squads. I couldn’t imagine having to scroll through 250 friends of my 1,000 who all have a green light. This is where improvements around being able to create lists (Twitter) or channels (Slack) would become very handy.
I’ve enjoyed playing with the app, and I’m curious to see where the app goes. Other apps are well on their way to taking the Messenger platform to the next level, but Peach’s nice minimal design and friendly interface make it a great starting point to grow into something great.
This post was previously published by Jake on jreid-design.com.
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