Soz for not posting last week. I went on holiday and was expecting to have access to a working computer but I didn’t not. Anyway back to the regularly scheduled program!
In the spirit of utilising the “mystery” of mystery monday to it’s fullest potential, I’m rolling out my first smartphone app review. Surprise!
I saw an advert on youtube advertising the app Hooked and I was previously
unfamiliar with this app and the general genre of “Chat Stories” which includes Yarn and Tap. Being a big fan of the Master of Experimental Fiction: Mark Z. Danielewski who has written colossal books not only in physical dimensions but also in ambition such as House of Leaves, Fifty Year Sword, and his current pet project The Familiar which is a 27 volume serialised novel, I like to try out experimental fiction. However like anything that involves the word “experimental” as a defining adjective, there’s going to be a considerable hit and miss rate. So is Hooked my next favourite thing? Lets see.
Premise: The app launches directly into a chat story which confused me at first because I thought it was like one long story but then I got bored halfway through the second part and finally figured out that you have to tap the chat space then click the top back button. I was trying to swipe left.
Before trying to swipe left, I learned a few things about the app and it’s functions. The first was that you get about 30 messages for free before being forced to take a 45 minute break or pay (2.99$ per week, 7.99/mo, 39.99/year unlimited, speaking of paying only paying members can contribute stories which is something I will come back to(1)). Me being broke and cheap and not sold after 30 messages, I put it away and waited my 45 minutes which brought me to the second interesting feature where the app will give you a notification that your free “hoots” are refreshed and
you can read another 30 messages. If you ignore this first message, it’ll gently prod you with another notification about 20 minutes later with the next message in the story out of context. The 30 messages is prime for the freeium function as it will take any where from a couple of minutes to 7 minutes tops. The notifications are also a good idea because it’s something I could easily see myself forgetting about. There’s also a search function and lists of genres.
Features I Want to See: So speaking of features, the ones I list are literally all you get. I appreciate the minimalism however there are some features I’d really like to see. I’d really like to see a rating and review system on the story cards . I realise that you can like and comment on the stories, but this is only accessible after reading. I don’t mind the fact that if there was a rating system you’d have to read the entire story before voting but I don’t like that as is you have to go into the stories blind as in my experience, the quality of stories varied from fairly interesting to uninspired.
What would also be a nice feature to see in congruent use with the search function and the genre selection would be a hashtag cloud plus a way to change the settings of the notifications (more, less, or none at all or maybe for some less NSFW stories have a way to turn off notifications for those stories but leave them on for other ones, or to set it so you only get notification at certain hours like not sleeping hours).
Overall: Speaking of swiping left, I guess that pretty much sums up my personal feelings about Hooked for the time being. It’s a good idea. However I already have a good smut site (NSFW Literotica) which has an okay app but lots of good regular writers. Maybe this app would be better suited for erotica but I have yet to read any erotica on here that’s already on here. Until they add a few more features like the ones I mentioned, as it is, it’s a left swipe from me.
- I’m not crazy about the idea about having contributing behind a pay wall but I guess it may help to sort out “serious” contributors from shit posters.