Oink is an app which displays the popularity of just about anything based on how much the general public and your friends like it. By anything, we really mean anything. The app doesn’t focus on just one specific thing like food items or places; there are a bunch of other apps for that. With Oink, you can basically rate the whole world around you and then let everyone know what you think of a particular item or place.
It is possible to use Oink without having to sign up for an account. In this mode, you can view categories or any ratings other users might have submitted, but you can not connect with your friends, or rate anything yourself. For that, you will need an Oink account, which is invite-only for now. You can send an invite request to the Oink team via Facebook, Twitter or your email address, but you will, of course, have to wait for their response before you get to use your account.
The app’s Feed has three basic categories where you can view ratings of Popular items near you, Places near you, and then there is the extremely interesting Live section. The Popular tab lists all the items that have positive ratings and are nearby. The range of listed things in this section vary from food articles to places or even services. The Live section contains the views of people on things that are happening concurrently. There are TV shows, apps and online services listed here according to the kind of feedback they get from users. Users can like, love or dislike any given item.
The whole concept behind Oink is the building of your Cred. Cred means your credibility, which is consolidated whenever you rate something. The more you rate, the more you are helping your fellow users. At times, Oink can give a decidedly social network-like feel. If you have some of your friends on Oink as well, then the app’s level of usability and entertainment rises to new heights.
Oink has the potential to become a a universal social network where people don’t use it just as a place to interact with each other, but to learn from each other’s experiences regarding virtually anything. The app is still in a beta stage of sorts, thus the invite-only clause, but it’s free so no harm in giving it a try.