Slim is a new iOS app from Slim Labs, Inc. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, with no additional in-app purchases. It’s currently highlighted in the “New” section of the store’s Productivity category. A Web-based version is also available, and a native Android version is set to follow soon.
Slim is a social media app that aims to allow users to trim all the irrelevant, useless content out of their various feeds in order to focus on the important updates. At present, the service only supports Facebook and LinkedIn accounts — a Facebook account is required to sign in at all, so those who only use LinkedIn are out of luck — but support for Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Salesforce and Yammer are apparently set for implementation in a future update.
Rather than taking a feed-based approach as with most social media apps, Slim displays a single update at a time and allows users to “swipe” between them. Users may mark the updates they would like to see more or fewer of by using some Last.fm-style “star” and “reject” buttons — from these, Slim apparently learns the user’s preferences and displays more relevant content over time, but it’s clear that there’s already some fairly heavy-duty filtering going on as soon as the app starts, as the vast majority of posts from my Facebook friends were nowhere to be seen. It would perhaps be better for the feed to start from an unfiltered view and allow the user to whittle it down to what they want rather than starting from an already heavily-sanitized position.
Slim also prides itself in the fact it allows the user to “reach out” to the owner of a particular update in various ways — not just the default methods in place on the social network. For example, when viewing a LinkedIn post that shows someone’s new job, the option is there to post a message via LinkedIn as well as send a text message, call the person, send them an email or send them a gift via gifts.com — though oddly, the app does not allow the use of LinkedIn’s native “Like” or “Comment” functions. When using the text message or phone call options, the user will have to manually input the phone number if it’s not readily available on the profile in question. In the case of text messages, predefined text is also filled in, but in most cases this is a one-word “Congrats” or something similar, so most users will probably want to add a more personal touch. Slim’s developers claim this “saves you time,” but given how little thought seems to have been put into these predefined messages — not to mention the number of spelling and grammatical errors evident in many of them — they might as well not be in there in the first place.
Slim is a well-presented, decent-quality app but it needs some work before it’s really worthy of recommendation. The lack of Twitter support at present is disappointing — it is coming soon, but given the popularity of Twitter it should really have been in there at launch. The app should also make it clearer how it’s going about filtering the user’s feed by default, or at least provide the user with the opportunity to take a little more control over this initial filtering, perhaps by asking them whether they would like to see specific categories of content — shares, likes, comments and so on.
Despite this, there’s some obvious potential here, particularly for those who work with a lot of different social feeds. It’s perhaps one to check back on in a few months when the other networks have been implemented. At present, there are far better multiplatform social clients available.
You can follow Slim’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.