I love new ideas. The web is chalk for of people who draw their inspiration from whatever anyone else is doing. Imitators- they’re all imitators imitating each other. This has never been more clear than with Google’s recent launch of Google Plus. It imitates everything Facebook does, improving upon a few things. Though some point out that G+’s real strength is its integration with Google Docs, its real weakness is that it’s the most non-innovative competitor in the Facebook market. In fact by creating a clone Google effectively declared loudly and clearly that they’re a desperate follower in the Facebook market, as opposed to the newly emerging leader in the social networking space. They’re just another me-too-er in a world of wannabes.
So when I come across a site like SlimAds I’m not quite sure what to make of them. They present themselves as a way to post ads, which is taking aim at good ol’ Craigslist. Of course here at SlapStart we’re always content to welcome a new challenger into the classifieds arena. Perhaps we enjoy their creativity. Or perhaps we’re amused by the carnage. Craigslist is the most recalcitrant of websites when it comes to giving up market share. Their only known defeat was with their red light district, and that only by legal wranglings. So what does SlimAds offer?
SlimAds offers new and improved ads. Their ads are informational with tabbed sections that make it easy to display pictures, video, descriptions, and more. In a concise business card sized format people can include everything they’re marketing in an easy to discover format. These ads can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else on the web. We even embedded one below for example.
The tabs and presentation are what makes SlimAds special. They allow users to click through and find all the information they need. These include Info which is a description, Images, Videos, Contact, and a Sharing section. When clicked the images are displayed in a full size picture viewer that the user can page through. The videos open in a new window so as not to encumber the user’s experience. Contact is a simple form that will allow the user to contact the person about the ad. Finally sharing allows them to share the ad on Facebook, Twitter, or scan the QR code with their mobile device.
SlimAds itself consist of a rather Craigslist-esque interface. Once you enter the site you arrive on a page with a variety of categories with, you guessed it, tons of SlimAds. Sections include Jobs, Rentals, Services, Pets, and other typical categories for classifieds. When creating an ad people will select the category for it and then share their ad throughout the web. So what’s this business I mentioned about outdoing Google’s Adsense?
In a case of going to the store to get milk and coming home with a new lawn mower, I propose that SlimAds may have stumbled into an entirely different market. Though they didn’t completely arrive there, I have to notice that SlimAds looks remarkable like, well, an ad. Just like an ad from Adsense or any other online advertising provider. The difference with SlimAds ads is that they are not landmines hidden throughout websites. For instance, when you see ads on websites most people attempt to avoid them lest their web browsing session be interrupted with the internet equivalent of an infomercial. People distinctly and decidedly do not like clicking them. But that’s not the case with SlimAds. They’re unobtrusive. You can click the tabs and look at the pictures and videos without leaving the page you’re on. I’ll just leave this minor set of feedback here- that SlimAds could make a few adjustments and build in a publishers and paid advertisers network for people to host and share their ads. Not only is it long past the time for Craigslist to be relieved of its market share in the classifieds sector, but it’s also time for someone to offer a better advertising scheme that unclickable landmine schemes. SlimAds could be positioned to do both. For starters we humbly request they consider including an embed code on their sharing tab. We took it upon ourselves to create our own for this demo.
The people at SlimAds are innovators, and for that we commend them. They take aim at Craigslist and to that end they indeed have built a product that promises to provide a more streamlined online classifieds experience. What they didn’t immediately realize is they built a prototype solution to a long time pet peeve of mine- solving the online don’t-click-my-ads problem. Whatever they choose to do, it’s a fascinating solution and great way to post ads online.