Friday, August 26, 2011

Alert App for Gamers and Anime Fans; Worth it?

A new app that helps fans aggregate the best of their Facebook feeds, but is it any good?

Many gamers and anime fans follow their favorite series and games on Facebook from Angry Birds to Deus Ex: Human Revolution to Bleach but while content is always ever flowing from publishers into Facebook how can fans keep up? One answer looks to be Alert; an app available on iPhone that takes content from Facebook and puts forth that user’s content, non friend content, into an easy to use and digest feed. Why should Facebook users, gamers and otaku alike, look to use another app when they have Facebook? Let’s take a look at what makes Alert special. (Please note this app was brought to my attention by an acquaintance from the creative company behind Alert to which I’m looking to see how practical it is to my interest.)

What is Alert? Without repeating the websites or App Store, it’s an app that pulls users Facebook content into a new interface. There are four tabs/pages. 
  • News – List of top trending and most recent post from pages users like, have interest in. Similar to the feeds being sorted on Facebook where users can like and comment on content. This looks and feels very much like Facebook but being able to sort by categories, and create categories starts to show the potential. Gamers could create genre of games they follow, or blogs on games they follow while anime fans can group their favorite series and pages on Facebook. This layout and flexibility is worth the price of admission for Facebook users tracking the latest on a Facebook heavy content such as an Angry Birds or a game running a contest. Full of potential, yes, but only limited by how creative the user can get. 
  • Events – A list of weekly, monthly and future events for users likes? Very nice especially for conventions as Alert shows the dates, times locations and of course offers the options to add to calendar and check out location on maps. Sometimes the best events happen and users have no idea, this helps to correct that and will make users start to narrow their focus on upcoming events. Real bonus is that it urges content providers, companies, to really promote their content on Facebook knowing that Alert is going to, well alert their fans. 
  • Menu (Table of Contents) – A fairly quick and easy way to search for content on Facebook and add it as a ‘like’ to the users Facebook page. The tab is called Menu but it’s more a Table of Contents of the users information. Users can create a new page list (category mentioned earlier) and add pages. The search works well and the summary page of search results looks great and is easy to navigate. A nice feature is the ability to click on a link and be taken to that link within the Alert interface with the option to jump into Safari if desired. Love this feature as clicking on links on iPhone can be a pain when it just opens Safari on its own. Once a page is liked users can then view photos and video content in this area also. Deleting is done via the tried and true hold down finger on icon-click X to remove, so familiar and friendly also. 
  • Account – Final and most boring tab as it contains a tutorial (use it) and ability to send feedback.
Bottom Line for Gamers – Games are a mainstay on smart phones with a large Facebook presence and consoles titles have moved the same direction. There are always contest and games going on, local events, fan sites and more on Facebook so for gamers to clean the clutter (friends content) seen in the tradition Facebook interface, well Alert shows it’s true potential here. Game videos, images, updates and news all sorted and easy to access with events also shown, it’s pretty solid and when the potential for exclusive content exist then the gamers will flock. This last piece is more a suggestion at this time as we’ve not observed exclusive gaming content but when looking at the landscape of exclusive and free content on Facebook now as well as content for pre-orders of games, well the imagination can run wild with what publishers could offer via Alert. It’s free and if gamers have liked all their favorites then it makes sense to download Alert and see how it gathers their content.

Bottom Line for Anime fans – Very much in the same arena as gamers, the anime fan can gather all their favorite content and keep updated on new content from their favorite pages. Replace the word ‘game’ with ‘anime’ and the bottom line for anime fans is the same as for gamers. It’s a chance to pull all the most recent content into one easy to use interface, but what else? Ah, a word to the …

A word to publishers/developers – These groups have embraced Facebook as most main games, anime, publishers and creators have their own Facebook page and serve up content along with news, images and videos. The field is crowded as ever so if a fan of say, Naruto, looks at their iPhone to read the latest news on Naruto there is a very good chance it’s buried under their friends post or their favorite music. Alert looks to, looks to, solve this by pulling this content and adding the categorization of content but it’s the exclusive content mentioned the Alert site that could really shine here. From the Alert site;

“Be first to get news, events and exclusives from your favorite brands. Then share in real-time back to Facebook.”

Publishers could promote an event and reward Alert users, die-hard fans, they could engage a more engaged audience tracking their content to get the word out. Download codes for episodes, avatar items and more could be offered to the first ‘x’ amount of replies. See this is where alert can become all that more valuable to both publishers, companies and their loyal fans.

Overall Alert is an app worth downloading for Facebook users with a decent ‘like’ list. The potential for more is there on the exclusive front but for now it really does do a good job of pulling in the content the user likes in easy to digest portions. As a gamer and otaku, Alert offers me the chance to stay on top of my uncluttered news and info from Facebook. I like it and see no reason others should not give it a try … and provide feedback, make this app evolve to serve you.


  1. Nice find. I could use something like this, thanks.

  2. i just check their site and found out that it is only compatible with android and iphone, when will they develop app for bada?

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