Hyper local is the new buzzword for Indian digital and mobile market. We have seen a surge in ecommerce apps, targeted towards local demands and needs. Venture capitalists are pouring funds into this niche, as they believe that going hyper local is the next big thing in India.
But, how about localized news and hyper local social network embedded into one? In case one needs to socialize online, then Facebook, Twitter and to some extent Foursquare comes into the picture; and for news related service, Newshunt or apps from established publications such as TOI or HT are the options.
Sensing a gap in supply of hyper local social network, which acts as a destination to check out localized news as well, V-Star has launched a new Android app called Cityscape, which perfectly fits this demand. On a broader level, Cityscape can be described as a combination of Facebook and Newshunt, with focus on the local sensibilities.
Cityscape allows users to share check-ins, pictures, videos and content based posts with people nearby; post and share classifieds targeted towards the local community and check out local, niche news pertaining to their current area.
The best part is that the user is not even required to register via email or phone number (although a phone verification is required to filter out spam & abuse). Being anonymous, any user can seek all the benefits of using this app.
As of now, the app doesn’t allow users to message each other, as the app aims to respect anonymity of each user. However, depending on the usage and requirement, this feature may be added in future versions. As shared by Vishal, the app doesn’t share personal data with any third party and doesn’t require Facebook or Twitter sign-in.
Some of the activities which a user can indulge in:
- Checkout local news feed
- Have a quick look at the trending news
- Find local events and activities
- Submit local news and tips
- Checkout Classifieds section
- Hangout at Discussion Forum
A good example of the utility of Cityscape: Say a tourist from Ahmedabad decides to visit Pune for the first time. When he arrives in the city at night, there is no one to guide him or inform him about the places. He can either ask manually, or check into Cityscape. In the discussion tab, he can post his problem, and allow other local users to chip in with assistance.
Vishal Shah, Founder- V-Star Labs said while launching this new app, “Cityscape is a simple to use, secure local social platform for people with a strong social attitude, to stay connected with their neighborhood, however small or big. We are extremely excited and look forward to adding more updates to the app, which is available exclusively on the Android Play Store and believe it will be well-received by everyone.”
Another user-friendly option is the ability to filter out local news, as per the individual’s taste and mood. The app provides several filter options like World News, State News, City News, Travel News, Weather News, Offbeat/Interesting news and more.
The challenge, ofcourse, is to enable more and more user-engagement, because the app is basically being crowd sourced for local news. V-Star hasn’t tied up with niche news publishers as of now, which makes user participation as the most important aspect for populating content.
You can download the app at Google Playstore, where it has received an average of 4.7 rating from 19 votes. A good, promising start!