Social network in 2019: Yandex launched Aura

    Very important UPD - Aura temporarily stopped issuing invites

    News with a touch of subjectivity.

    How many times have you thought something like: would I have wheels from Toyota, drive and cross-country from Hunter, looks from X3, and dimensions from the Tundra - would it be an ideal car? And Yandex thought - and he did it. In any case, the first impressions of his social service “Aura” - wow, wow, it will fly up, drop in, conveniently, simply. But the devil, as you know, is in the details. So far this is beta and, I hope, they will not shoot me for the screenshots. So, Habr - meet - "Aura" was lit.

    The seals have another platform for capturing the world :-)

    “Aura” is a social service from Yandex, which is in closed testing mode. A user who has entered an aura through an invite gets the opportunity to use all the functions of the service and invite 5 users per day (5 invites are charged). Gradually, the mesh grows due to closeness, which means the desire to get there, fuels interest in itself. I don’t know about you, but I already have half of the Facebook feed asking for an invite, and the other asks who wants an invite to Aura. Okay, not half, but mostly technically advanced guys - those very early birds.

    After registration, you are called in the Aura by the name of your mailbox (so it’s better to register beautiful, not sexy_pupsya, if you are going to write about Kubernets and Khayload), your age is pulled into the profile, put your photo.

    This profile was created after uploading photos

    Cursory review

    Aura does not yet have her own mobile application, it is available in the Yandex mobile application for iOS and Android. That is, the company kills a lot of birds with one stone: users put the application to go into the Aura, go to the face of Yandex, there are all the services, weather, mail, news, Zen. And all this gets the audience and traffic. And yes, to register in the Aura, you need to have mail on Yandex - so those who do not have to register.

    The aura consists of several tabs:

    People - you see people nearby, new posts, you can enable smart matching (dating, searching for interlocutors - I have disabled so far), you see people with similar interests, members of the communities you are a member of, those who rated your posts. Convenient tape with the usual navigation.

    Notifications - notifications. I have so far only about subscribing to me.

    Chats (with a badge on the number of messages) - chats in which there are new events. While this is the block I didn’t like, I’ll tell you more below what I don’t like.

    Profile- your photo, settings, communities, your posts and favorite posts. In the settings, it is possible to configure notifications, set a black list (how cool that it is right away!). Also there is the User Agreement, feedback and content requirements. Probably, it’s not very correct for beta to disclose the content of these sections, but I will say that the requirements are quite strict - I was reminded of the requirements for the content of Direct announcements. In short, peace, friendship, chewing gum. Here is a typical discussion inside the Aura - yes, I think, with obscenities and insults, this is not for you to rekindle in a contact :-)

    In the same place, in the profile, you can delete the profile. We won’t test yet.

    Post creation

    Create a post, how to forward two bytes - you can select a photo, the background color of the text and write a message up to 2200 characters. I, accustomed to Habr, thought that the idea would not come out so briefly. But no, it turns out - typing the text of 2200 characters from the keyboard of a smartphone is tiring, so laconicism develops just instantly. There is no editor yet, but the links in the text work. When creating a post, it is attached to one or several of your communities (well, as a post - to hubs on the Habré, for me it’s an extremely familiar interface). It is not yet clear what the hashtags are, and indeed them.

    This is what the post looks like: comments, geolocation, views and likes are visible. The post can be added to favorites, edited, deleted. You can complain about someone else’s post (the guy I tested on, forgive me, I didn’t know that there were no reasons for complaints and the notification about the complaint just flies away when I click the Complain button).

    If you like the post, swipe to the right and the post flies with a heart, if not, to the left, and it is swept away.

    In general, everything is simple, mechanics, GUI, UX are nice, cool. True, the iPhone 5S is cramped on the display, but this is a fee for the love of compact phones. On a 6-inch android, it’s still nicer, more convenient, and the review is better.

    Comments to posts can be added and minus (with arrows, just like on the Habré), edited, deleted, complained, answered.


    This item has depressed me so far. So, to start a chat, you need to go to the user profile and type a message no shorter than 15 characters (just “Hello” will not work). But ... the message did not send - the button is inactive. What the hell?! Yeah, you also need to attach the topic on which you are going to talk (from the topics of your friend) - maybe I’m confusing, but this is such a nice limitation in communication. It is clear that you can choose a topic from the bulldozer and ask a friend to buy lemonade for the party, but somehow it’s not very. Obviously there is work to do.

    Emoticons in chat rooms work.

    Galloping on trifles

    Communities are still a strange entity in which there are people united by interest (and again an analogy with hubs is requested). Creating your community is not obvious - I created “crm” and “sales and sales people”, someone signed up there overnight. In fact, these are the tags ... To create a community, you need to enter its name in the list, and then tap on it, otherwise it will not be created and will disappear when you first refresh the page.

    Chats are not loaded into Alice's chat list. And in general, so far I have not noticed any integration with Alice. And it would be convenient.

    All posts can be limited by community, distance, gender, age (up to a year of running!). I think advertisers will especially like Aura and will use it in the tail and in the mane - how to miss such a target! It is interesting what Yandex will do with this and how much it monetizes.

    Conclusions and Reflections

    The first impression is simply excellent - I’ve been in the IT field for 14 years and, if I came up with something of my own, it would probably look like Aura. Yes, in 2019 you do not expect a new social network, but I see Yandex as a promising attempt.

    Good design of the tape, a large reserve for the size of the post, convenient and “voted” comments can not but rejoice. But targeting for publications and tight binding to interests hints that this platform will be in demand for PR and advertising. However, I am sure that such an idea with a distant aim took place to be.

    Aura, of course, is not a competitor to Telegram, it is unlikely to become a killer of Facebook and VKontakte, at least because of strict requirements for content. It seems that after a decline in interest, Aura will become a niche social service for communication on interests, dating and communication of brands with the audience. Wait and see.

    And yes, the desktop version is not enough - you need to be distracted by the mobile, this is a serious and inconvenient limitation.

    The main thing is that this is a good aura, not a migraine aura.  

    PS: perhaps the post will be supplemented.

    PPS: I wonder how soon someone will parse the Aura or manually pull out the email addresses of the communities (nickname + yandex .ru) and make advertising mailings?

    UPD 1

    You can not put a photo where the face will not be recognized. For example, a cat or eyes (look). So they write: "Our algorithm did not recognize your face." But Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, uploaded as a photo for the test, accepted. So while the algorithm is not able to work with m / f and celebrities.

    You cannot find a specific person by name and subscribe to him. For example, inviting a friend from the “left” account, you will not be able to communicate with him until you find the main one. But there is no search as such, but you can agree, create a community and subscribe to each other. It's complicated. Disconnecting people.

    With abusive words trouble :-) The words of the "literary" category: ass, asshole, bitch, scum, did not pass censorship (does not allow to publish a comment). Gone: bastard, idiot. Passed: w0pa. But the three-letter classic with the gamer instead of “u” did not pass.

    UPD 2

    We continue to test. The comment feed on Habré consists of a couple of hundred requests for an invite with the specified mail. And about a hundred of the same comments hang on approval. In order not to stretch my time, I took my Yandex mail (needed for the project) and registered several Aura accounts for myself. I put my own photos on two, on two, male, photos of Brad Pitt. Artificial intelligence on board the Aura did not recognize any problems, although all accounts contain similar photos from one IP-shnik, from one mobile network and geolocation, and from one device. It is not clear why such basic capabilities of the fraud were not cut off.

    UPD 3

    Subjectivity is growing. The tape still looks very uncomfortable. I am subscribed, for example, to “technologies” and “Nizhny Novgorod” and urban photographers, just messages, discussions, etc., are pouring their creations into these communities. - it is obvious that you need to produce narrow communities like “python in nizhny novgorod”.

    There were three clearly “tricky” requests for dating, although I am not subscribed to the match and this interest. All by geolocation. Here Yandex, you can say, has found its audience :-) There

    has already been advertising - the ubiquitous and not always thinking Bitrix 24 dealers are right there.

    UPD 4

    It is amazing how many people in threads on social networks, Habr and other resources openly indicate their e-mail. Either everyone is really careless in information security (working in the enterprise for 14 years, I’m sure that it is), or Yandex mail is not particularly valuable to everyone. However, there are clearly many reasons, and not just one.

    Very important UPD - Aura temporarily stopped issuing invites

    PPPS: everyone with an unapproved comment will give an invite in order of priority. Alas, only 5 a day - excitement :-)

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