Skout review

Download.com staff

A global platform for chatting, making friends, and finding dates, Skout features an appealing Facebook-like interface and an addictive Shake to Chat feature, but has difficulties recognizing your location or retrieving relevant search results, not to mention that it asks for money for many features provided by other social apps for free.

Pros

Vibrant community: With over 100 million downloads worldwide, Skout boasts one of the most active social networks for mobile devices on Google Play. Whether you're a boy or a girl looking for fun chats or flirting, there are enough people around during the day to sustain a photo stream called Buzz and to make for good chatting buddies.

Addictive Shake to Chat: Shaking your device establishes a random connection with another shaker from around the world, with whom you can chat and whose profile you can view. This ingenious approach to meeting new people proves tons of fun and quickly becomes addictive, although not all connections are necessarily engaging.

Encourages interaction: Features such as likes, comments, virtual gifts, and backstage photos, which you can unlock through in-app credits, give you the excuse to interact with ease even with complete strangers.

Cons

Avatars not mandatory: The downside of the laid-back profile setup is that people can start using the app without uploading any photos, so that you constantly run into anonymous profiles.

Location problems and poor search filtering: The app determined our location to be on another continent and, since we could not find a way to change it, we ended up with mostly irrelevant search results. Also, there are many profiles that keep repeating and others that look outright fake.

Can get costly: To see who checked you out, who added you to his/her favorites, or to buy gifts or send mass greetings, you need to spend points. 500 points cost $4.99 but you can earn free points by downloading apps or inviting friends.

Bottom Line

While Skout could do with many improvements, even in its current form it proves to be tons of fun. It's not the most accurate social app, which makes it a bit lousy for dating. But if you just want to chat with others it'll do. The only inconvenience of using it is that to really enjoy it you may have to spend some money on virtual points to access the locked features.

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