It's weird. Part of me realizes that F!rst offers something special, a place where folks can gather and chat about video games. Another part of me is nonplussed: what does this offer over Reddit's /r/gaming anyway?
Okay, /r/gaming is a terrible example. But an established community like Reddit offers a myriad of places to discuss things you're passionate about--I can check out new indie games, read up on Dwarf Fortress adventures, or get Guild Wars fashion advice without ever leaving my browser tab.
And why restrict things to mobile devices? If I'm joining a community, I want to participate everywhere--HTML knows no bounds. I've got Reddit access on every internet-enabled machine in my apartment; why can I only access F!rst on my tablet and phone?
Communities are a kind of chicken-and-egg situation, and comparing a nascent social network like F!rst to established players is wholly unfair. F!rst offers some unique, interesting options, including weekly video content via an established YouTube channel and the promise of an SDK that allows developers to integrate F!rst chat into their games. The community feels more intimate and seems keen on making friends, trading usernames and the like to get some cooperative gameplay going--I suppose it helps that Grand Theft Auto V is still fresh on our minds. The coming months will be the real litmus test--we'll see if F!rst can keep people coming back for more, all the while keeping the drek that plagues the rest of the internet's communities at bay.
I'll let my inner cynic take the reins here: joining (or starting) a new social network seems like a losing battle. If foul-mouthed, misogynistic minors don't flood the place and the app manages to maintain a steady stream of interested participants, then self-promoters or thinly-veiled advertisers will eventually drown out the rest of the content, seeking fame and a quick buck. Provided F!rst is successful, of course--it could simply go the way of so many other social networks, existing on the periphery of our collective senses but failing to gain much mainstream traction. Such is the nature of things.
Prove me wrong: grab the F!rst app from Google Play and come chat with us.
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