This piece of news brought to you by Jotly. No, no. Just kidding. Last week, uber-founder Kevin Rose and the team of eight sterling engineers and designers that comprised his startup lab, Milk, closed the doors on their first mobile app, Oink, just four months after it appeared on the App Store, before heading over to Google. The abrupt Oink-icide of course raised some important questions: What will happen to the app’s thousands of users and their directionless Oink data? Is no one thinking of them? Well, it turns out there is someone — that relentlessly positive new guy on the block: An app called Cheers.
For those unfamiliar, Cheers is a “SoLo” sharing app for iOS created by Shopzilla Founder Farhad Mohit. The so-called “positivity app” allows users to choose any person, place, or thing that they want to express appreciation for, and “cheers” the dickens out of ‘em, uploading pics, writing descriptions, and just generally sharing the things they love with new and old friends alike — wherever they are. (You can read our coverage of Cheers’ launch here.)
The Cheers founder tells us that, after seeing a number of Oink users take to social networks to express their disappointment over the plug being pulled so abruptly on their sharing app of choice, he and the team decided to whip up a solution — “Oink Importer,” which allows Oink users to select their data .zip file and turn their old Oinks into Cheers.
Just for a little background, although the Oink announcement was only made last week, the app has already been removed from the App Store, due to the fact that Rose and the majority of the Milk team having been acqui-hired by Google (following a bidding war with Facebook). As a result, the Milk team will be officially shutting down its website on March 31st.
The app was downloaded some 150K times in the first month it was in the App Store, and Rose said at Le Web in December that the service had attracted over 40K active users and that it was tracking “hundreds of thousands of Oinks” and “millions of sessions”.
However, the app’s public data will not be transferred to Google, Rose said, and instead will be destroyed at the end of the month. So Milk has enabled users to download their ratings and pictures just by entering their username or email address associated with the account on its website.
And thus, Cheers wants to provide an inordinately friendly home to those Oinks. Mohit said that he thinks it makes perfect sense, because Cheers provides an easy way to express love and appreciation for anyone and everything. While it’s broader in scope than Oink (and exclusively focused on positivity), the vast majority of Oinks were positive, or “likes,” themselves, and could see smooth translation into Cheers.
Though Mohit is a very positive guy himself, he is well-aware that, at first glance, Cheers may just sound too close to Oink, or Stamped — or just another niche-ified social sharing app. But, the app’s got some serious addictive potential, a slick, Instagram-inspired design, an easy UX, smart game-ification integration, and, hey, no one calls me names there, or tells me that my nose is too big. It’s like the opposite of a comment section.
Even if you think it sounds fluffy, Mohit is committed. Having started BizRate.com and Shopzilla, which took over 9 years (and surviving a dotcom crash) before achieving success (Mohit sold Shopzilla in 2005 for $569 million), the founder says he sticks to his projects, and he’s in this one for the long haul. I think that means he won’t be exiting stage left to Google anytime soon.
“We hope Oinkers will find a more cheerful home with us at Cheers,” Mohit said, followed by a patented “:)” So put down your jadedness, hipsters, and Cheers it out. The water’s fine.