Miio is a brand new microblogging service that claims to be 'easier and better for conversation' than Twitter. Competing with one of the most popular services is a very ambitious task, will Miio be able to make an impression on the users?
The group of Miio designers heard complaints about Twitter - that it's to difficult to use, confusing, that it doesn't really bring together people who have something in common - so they started thinking about something that would combine Twitter's good points with some improved ideas. Miio is supposed to be more user friendly, without the 140 character limit, and easier to follow in terms of topics and keywords. Another interesting feature is that users can use tags to quickly find others with similar interests.
The first thing that draws the attention is creating the profile. New users submit the usual stuff - location, age, gender, and then they can create their own 'interest tags'. The system then finds people who either had exactly the same group of tags, or just a couple of the same ones. The user can choose which people to add to the 'followed' list.
Users can also create groups, according to a large number of thematic categories, and can browse all the messages on the basis of the same categories, for example, find all the messages tagged with 'music', and see if there's any interesting information. Users can also check out 'the most recent' and 'the most popular' threads.
The messages have different level of detail - we can either see the short entry, possibly with a link or a photo, or click on the 'metadata' button to have a display of detailed information about the message, and the author along with a map with their location.
Unlike Twitter, Miio has location features, allowing users to ask and answer questions about specific places.
The site looks quite simple, the layout is inspired by Twitter, but not directly following it. Menu options are marked with colourful stripes, and the fonts are big and easy to read. Photos appear in thumbnail form, and can be enlarged. The overall impression is positive, and browsing the site is a pleasant and not frustrating experience.
Miio seems like an interesting alternative, or addition to Twitter, because all the messages can be automatically sent to the Twitter account. Of course, it doesn't have neither the amazing popularity nor the power of Twitter, but there are features which the giant doesn't have, but Miio does. It's probably better for people who want to share their thoughts with a group of similar minded ones, but not those who want to announce them to the whole world.