ShoZu 4.0, is much more robust than previous versions. It allows you to update your status on various social networking sites from your phone, reply to comments (and read friend’s comments) from your phone, and download your friends’s Flickr feeds to your phone. And, it’s easier to use than the last version, which itself is simple (and I’m not just saying that because they’re one of my clients). It makes social networking from your phone simple and it aggregates social networking interactions so that you don’t have to jump from WAP site to WAP site or from on mobile application to the next. The newest version of the ShoZu app is even better from a useability perspective.
In this major new release, ShoZu started showing ads. While ads normally annoy me, the ads ShoZu shows are (so far anyway) good. Unlike ads on websites, I’m seeing ads from a small number of companies that are the type of companies people like me want to learn about… companies that have products/services that actually appeal to advanced mobile users and mobile social networkers.
From a useability perspective, what’s interesting and unique about the way ShoZu displays ads is that those ads are kept entirely within the ShoZu experience. So, when you click on a banner ad, it doesn’t take you to a WAP site, it takes you to a splash page within the ShoZu application that gives you more information. And, it’s much easier to navigate away from the splash screen on Shozu than it is to interact with some other mobile ad types like WAP. With WAP ads, you’re navigated away from the task you’re participating in and loading is slow. ShoZu’s ads are lightning fast and can be opened and closed in fractions of seconds.