1. Computing

A Review of ThisNext

The Scoop on ThisNext

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

ThisNext is a social shopping website with a focus on product reviews and finding the next big thing. It has the basic features of a social network with the ability to add friends, rate comments, and give kudos, but it lacks any advanced social features.

While there are better places to get product reviews, not many combine it with the social aspect of ThisNext, and neat features like watching others shop helps set ThisNext apart.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface makes signing up and reviewing products a snap
  • Watching others shop is a great way to find new products -- it's like window-shopping on the web
  • The Maven program shows promise

Cons

  • No prices or price comparisons on the site itself
  • No friends search

Features

  • Recommend products and write reviews
  • Add fellow reviewers as friends and give them compliments
  • Browse through what's popular and what's new
  • Watch other people shop

ThisNext - What's To Like

Watching people shop on ThisNext can be entertaining. (Image of ThisNext.)

The signup process is short and to the point, and browsing products is pretty easy. You can search for products through the search box, or click a keyword from the tag cloud, or simply page through new or popular products.

But the neatest way to browse is to watch others shop. This is a web mashup that combines Google Earth with the products being viewed on ThisNext. It's a great way to see different products flash across the screen. I only wish they allowed people to narrow it down by category so that I could only see technology products or men's clothing. Then, it would be an ideal way to window shop on the web.

The Maven program is also a very interesting idea. There are plenty of places on the web to get product reviews, but the Maven program is what puts ThisNext into a different category. Mavens are those who have been determined to be trend setters based on their recommendations. And it's not just for bragging rights. If you are selected as a Maven, you can get special offers and sneak peeks at products.

But the neat part is the effect the Maven program can have on other shoppers. Want to hook into the next big thing? Befriend a Maven and watch their recommendations.

ThisNext - What's Not To Like

Prices and price comparisons are irritatingly absent from a website centered around shopping. Each product contains links to store that sell it, so finding the price isn't too difficult, but they could make it so much simpler by including it on the main page.

ThisNext also lacks in the searching for friends department. For a social shopping website, this makes it a little harder to become social. It would have been great to be able to search for people with similar shopping interests in order to review their recommendations. Or, better yet, be matched up with recommended similar products in order to find people with the same tastes.

ThisNext - The Bottom Line

The ThisNext interface is clean, not quite as busy as some social networks and not quite as bare as others. Instead, it finds that happy medium that makes it easy-to-use and still quite functional. Signing onto the social network was a breeze, and getting started browsing through products was also simple.

ThisNext has a lot of good features. It could really use prices on the website, but the reviews are handy, and the Maven program shows a lot of promise.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.