After Digg-founder Kevin Rose left the site, he formed development company Milk, which recently launched its first endeavor for iPhone and iPod Touch, the rating app Oink.
I’m not sure how its name really matches Oink’s platform, but it’s memorable enough that users might cotton to its rating endgame. Instead of judging a restaurant good or bad, Oink wants to know if the parts are better than the sum by having users upload photos and give thumbs up or down to individual dishes. I’m guessing most entries in Oink will be food-related, but Oink wants to be a ratings powerhouse for anything and everything.
You can connect Oink to Facebook or Twitter or create an account with your email address, and you should be able to find other friends using the service. (Make sure they’re actually your friends, though, and not just people who share the same name — none of my results were people I knew.) Oink uses your location to offer nearby suggestions or you can search for a place to see what items have been previously added or add your own. I really like Oink’s interface: It’s user-friendly and the options to like or dislike an item or add it to your favorites list are helpful. Adding items only requires you to input an item name — adding a photo is optional and there are even editing filters built in, such as crop or color enhancement. The entire process is quick, which makes it more likely that users will remember to use the service.
All of Oink’s entries can be tagged (not required though, and they might want to rethink this). I think the hashtag structure is a bit too open-ended. With no parameters for tagging, duplicates will surely abound, and dedicated users probably will find themselves missing out on content created by others. Of course, in addition to adding items, you can browse category tags, such as burgers or fries, by popularity or view the live feed of other users’ activities.
The big names behind Oink probably will draw users to the platform, but it’s too early to tell if Oink’s quick rating system will prove more useful than Yelp and its ilk.