I guess the screenshots below already kind of make this clear, but any social network that gets started these days is bound to look like Twitter, Facebook or Google+, both in terms of features and design. Sure enough, Anybeat is exactly that: a social network that borrows elements and features from those three popular services, without adding anything extraordinarily unique (for now).
Sure enough, Anybeat looks really clean, and from what I’ve seen in the demo it’s a perfectly fine social network with all the necessary bells and whistles. My problem with it is that it lacks a raison d’être, especially given the head start enjoyed by the Twitters and Facebooks of this world.
Alternatives are great, needed even, but users need a compelling reason to switch, too.
There are some things that Shapiro and his crew have added to try and make Anybeat stand out from the pack, such as the ability to use pseudonyms, a hybrid system of following, grouping, direct messaging and instant messaging other members, a directory that enables people to discover new users to follow, integrated real-time and saveable search, a ‘CRED’ score that is sort of like an internal ranking of how great an Anybeat member a person is, and a special dedicated called ‘Questions’ which is, well, much like Quora or Facebook Questions.
But ultimately, from what I’ve seen at least, there’s basically nothing that would make me want to use Anybeat if I’m already using Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google+ or really any other social network today. That might change in the future, but color me a skeptic for now.
Anybeat has raised just over $1 million from Freestyle Capital, Social Leverage, DFJ, Howard Lindzon, Tom Anderson and other angel investors.
The service is invite-only for the time being, but you can sign up to be alerted.