Well, it seems as if Heello just showed up to cause a huge stir and then quietly leave the social world. As of now, their “What’s Happening Tab” is still under construction, and that live feed was really one of the most appealing things that Heello had to offer. Outside of the live stream, Heello was just another Twitter with less users dying to claim famous account names.
About 8 or 9 days ago, the “What’s Happening Now – Live Stream – Tab” began to display the following message:
This feature is temporarily disabled.
Heello is growing at an astounding rate, and our servers need a little breathing room. We hope to have this stream back online very soon, sorry for the inconvenience!
But nine days later, the message is still being displayed. It looks as if Heello, like most other start-up companies, never expected their website to go viral. And honestly, this could be the nail in Heello’s coffin, especially when many blogs have started to bring attention to a website that is trying to clone and compete against Twitter, a multi-million-user service.
One of the main downfalls of cloning a website is the fact that while you may think you have cloned everything correctly, certain aspects of the site cannot be cloned because you don’t know exactly how the underlying code is written. Imperfections in your code arising from this fact could mean overloading a server, even crashing a website, or much worse, annoying your users with features that don’t work right.
Twitter has the “timeline” where you instantly receive status updates from the people you are following. Heello had a live feed. Right from the start, every user started to complain about how difficult it was to keep up with the feed.
The “live feed”, to me, was an awesome addition that made Heello’s service unique. The stream reminded me of an old chatroom. The only problem is that the live feed was taking information from several different sources at the same time, meaning that half of the time, no one was actually keeping up with the conversation. Additionally, most of the people writing the statuses were just out to get a laugh or worse yet, spam everyone’s links and websites.
The one update that went viral on Heello was “Listen to me for a chance to win a free iPad”. After the initial rush of people following the person who posted the status, everyone began to update their status with the same quote. Then you started to see an entire wall of nothing but the word “Testing” over and over when people were trying out different things. And finally, the falsification of real accounts; CNN alone has 3 or 4 different official channels full of ridiculous stories and claims.
Overall, I think that Heello came too fast out of the bull cages and was ill-prepared for the plethora of problems that Twitter ironed out early on. Heello could have started the service by opening a Beta version first, or even an invitation-only service so they could work out the kinks before the masses show up. A little bit of planning could have gone a long way.
Now, I’m not saying that Heello is dead, but it’s at a stand-still. Nine days ago, people started to complain about the feed, and as of nine days ago most of the listeners that we have updated statuses like “has anyone returned yet?” or “is anyone still here?” or the classic “Hello… Heello?… are you there?”