Spanish microblogging service YouAre has moved into private beta after a year in development.
A lot has happened in the microblogging space in the last twelve months, but Blogs Media, the company behind YouAre has maintained a steady as she goes, get it right development approach. The private beta is planned to last anywhere between "several weeks to several months" until such time the Blogs Media time thinks the site is right to launch.
So what does YouAre offer over the growing sea of competitors?
YouAre combines Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, Del.icio.us and the sites "secret ingredient" (their definition). At the basic level YouAre offers 140 character limited short messaging, complete with user profiles, support for @replies and DMs, and the ability to follow friends. The next layer of YouAre (and that's the best word I can use to describe the feature sets) is Pownce and Tumblr like. Users can share video or pictures, although notably the site doesn't offer hosting of either at this stage.
The next layer goes off into an unexpected tangent: LinkedIn style professional bios, including support for schools attended and work experience. Layer four takes us into what they describe as De.licio.us territory, but it's part FriendFeed; yes, users can import external feeds into YouAre, although at this stage the choices are limited to De.licio.us, Flickr and YouTube.
But wait, there's more! because YouAre also supports manual geolocation, so you can connect with others within your same area, based on the location based in your profile, or if you were visiting somewhere it's as hard as placing /country/city after YouAre.com.
So what is it? Well it's not a cake, or even an onion, despite the many layers. My very first impression is that unlike some of the other services I've reviewed lately, YouAre wins on name and aesthetics. It's a great name, and Blogs Media has really thought about the looks of the site. It's not OMG this is amazingly gorgeous great, but it's pleasing to work in.
If I'm forced to label it as something, I (with some hesitation) would perhaps label it Twitter 2.0, or even a more professionally focused version of Twitter. It builds on the key concepts of Twitter, and adds to them in a way that isn't overly complicated, or in a way that has a polarizing effect in an effort to be different (eg Plurk). Any user of Twitter will be able to sign up to YouAre and feel right at home. Although the various layers of the service sound complicated, in practice it feels like a safe, natural progression in this space.
As mentioned above, I don't have a date as yet for when YouAre will open up
nor do I have any invites yet(see below). There's work to be done, but despite entering late into the space, here's what I like about YouAre already: these guys are determined on launching this as a fully fledged, working platform:
Yes, they won't be launching until all the various parts of the service jigsaw puzzle are in place. In an age of half arsed product launches, isn't it refreshing to see a company focused on launching a complete package.
Screenshots and YouAre's spreadsheet below, and I'll be following YouAre closely as it continues to be developed.
Update: we now have 25 invitations for Inquisitr readers. The first 25 people to email email@example.com with this Subject: "The Inquisitr Invitations" get in. Also I forgot to add that coming in the next couple of days will be the ability to import contacts from external services, including Gmail and Twitter.