Seeing as they weren’t going back to Uni for the semester because of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. Two University of Zimbabwe students Tafadzwa Shoko (4th year Media Studies) and Michelle Chibango (3rd-year Audiology) felt like they needed to bridge the social divide that exists because of the lockdown. The two created intaRez which is a social media platform that has a smidge of Facebook and other popular social media apps.
First impressions and features
As previously mentioned intaRez has some similarities with Facebook when it comes to layout (and some features). As well as a hashtag based search that is similar to Instagram or Twitter.
It like most social media applications is coming out of the gate with stories and groups. It also has an assortment of other features, and the ones that caught my attention are:
- Market, which is akin to the Facebook marketplace. There are options for products ranging from vehicles to home and gardening. But the market at the time of visiting doesn’t have any products on display. The assumption here is that the items will be from the site’s users and will probably fill up when there are more people on the site.
- Jobs, which is a place to advertise and seek employment.
- Blogs, which looks like a place where users create written content that can be viewed by other users. There are categories ranging from economics and trade to science and technology.
- Crowdfunding, users can make requests for a cause or need they would like to ask for assistance with.
We have been crying out for homegrown platforms…
By that, I mean that we need local or even regional websites that are far more in tune with what’s going on in the country. This means we are more likely to get a range of services that target the needs on the ground. As well as a place that doesn’t yet have a big brother figure who wants your data for advertising purposes.
intaRez is coming out of the gate with a number of features that, at inception, look like they were well thought out. The only issue that I can find is that some of the features like the market place and crowdfunding need heavy moderation and management.
It might be a case of too many features too soon but I’m guessing if Takudzwa and Michelle decided to roll them out, they are confident they can keep a lid on things.
It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of the platform over time and you can check it out for yourself with the link here.