Social Media is the in-thing right? Whip up an application that can get people glued to their screens and well, you’ve hit the jackpot. Whilst the formula seems so so simple, it’s quite hard to get right and it can be very hit or miss. This is why there’s one Zuckerburg even though the concept he designed isn’t hard to copy and add on.
This where Hariplay comes in. The description on the application calls it a podcasting app but from my time using it, it felt more like a social media application. The description of the application does point out that the app is a jack of all trades as it reads:
Hariplay is a podcast app with a built-in automatic offline sharing function. Stay connected and continue to get the latest music and exciting new videos even when you don’t have access to either WI-FI or mobile data. Hariplay is a broadcasting tool that uses the proximity (or closeness) of your phone to other smartphones in your location to allow new videos to be shared directly to your phone from other users of the app.
If I were to describe Hariplay, I would call it a video-sharing platform with social media elements.
It looks good enough…
Let’s start on a positive note; Hariplay looks good. And this is something that a lot of app creators in Zim need to work on. The problem is that when it comes to applications users don’t want to compromise like they do with other services. We’ve seen what good apps look like and we want that too. Thankfully, Hariplay’s design looks modern and you wouldn’t be able to guess it’s country of origin by just looking at it.
…It works well enough…
So how does this work? Hariplay users get to upload videos and these videos are shared on a timeline similar to the one you would find on Instagram.
Users have the ability to share, like and comment on these pictures just like you would on other social media and video sharing platforms. Something I liked when it comes to Hariplay was the homepage. When you sign up, you’re obviously not going to have followers or accounts you follow so initially your homepage has some random videos. This is great for a not-so-popular application because from there it’s easier to pick people posting videos you may like rather than having you search and not finding your friends on the app.
Anyway, there’s also a discovery page which works similarly to the one on Twitter or Instagram with trending posts and posts in the discovery section. There’s a notification section which looks pretty standard, nothing too incredible there either.
One thing I did like is the fact that the videos I saw during my runs with the application are quite funny, which means there’s some cool stuff you’ll bump into on the app that might make you stay. The 500 downloads might be proof that the app appeals to many even though there are many popular social media alternatives. A minor irritation I had is that there doesn’t seem to be a progress slider and the lack of one means you have to restart the video if you miss something. This is especially irritating for longer videos.
Another cool thing is that the application allows you to download certain videos for offline saving which not the case with more popular applications like Instagram. Well, I couldn’t figure out how to actually download the videos but the feature is there (apparently) And the sharing of these videos is what is supposed to be the biggest deal with this app.
…But the killer feature is NOT a killer
So when it comes to the offline sharing, this supposedly the biggest deal when it comes to the whole Hariplay app. The videos you download for offline viewing are shareable as well. This is great – because, you know, data is expensive in Zim and Africa in general but there are a few problems with this concept. You can only share with someone who has the application installed and just like the download feature I couldn’t find how to use these features…
Until of course I went and read the entire application description… Now that’s a bit weird that if you’re going to want to use the app to its full potential you’ll have to read the entire app description. Usually, developers just put some tutorials or information pointing to this in their app but this wasn’t the case here.
So how it actually works is; if you have another person who has the same app, their app will feed your app even if you’re offline. This works perfectly fine and if the people you stay with have this app then the assumption is you’ll get videos from them and they’ll get videos from you and no one ever runs out of content. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the app working on another phone so I didn’t get to test this feature but it sounds like ShareIt tacked onto an app essentially. Which is cool but not necessarily groundbreaking.
A cool app overall
Overall, I think Hariplay is a cool application and it’s genuinely worth a shot. Do I think the biggest feature is too amazing? Not necessarily but I still think the other features make up for it. Try it and maybe you’ll find yourself sharing and enjoying videos on the platform on one of the few local social media sites.