Make Your Squeal Count

Along with all your Googling, Facebooking and Tweeting, how do you feel about Oinking? Following the nascent trend of iPhone-only social network destinations, à la Instagram, the latest is the rate-anything app called Oink. It’s the first product from Milk Inc., a San Francisco-based development lab focusing on mobile Web launched this year by Internet rock star and former Las Vegan Kevin Rose, who also co-founded Web-based successes Revision3 and Digg.

Oink, which debuted in November, takes the idea of location-based ratings a bit deeper. Instead of rating places, you rate specific things inside them. For example, Oink users can rate everything within a restaurant, from the food to the pattern on the tablecloths. Although, say, utensil ratings might not be what Milk had in mind when developing the app, it’s the small stuff that makes Oink such a fun service.

It also helps that the app is well designed, utilizing an intuitive user interface bathed in bright colors and textures. Beyond the aesthetics, there are features you’d expect from a mobile-based social network such as a user-activity stream, comments, and popular and nearby activity. It also has a rating system in which users can “Love,” “Like,” “Ho-Hum” or “Dislike” entries.

When posting a new Oink review, you can attach it to a location, add a picture and add tags to describe it. These tags not only help with searchability, but also allow users to track what they post most often. The more you use the same tag, the more “cred” points you build about that topic. Words of warning: The act of Oinking becomes addictive once you start.

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