In theory, a new social media tool only needs one thing to be successful: people to use it. In practice, a new social media app needs to offer something new. “Cannonball” looks to do that by creating an interactive social calendar, but ultimately falls short of success.
The first impression one gets from “Cannonball” is less than great, as the app requires access to a plethora of private functions. Combined with a 21.8 MB download, it’s almost enough to make a user feel uneasy, since most will just be looking for a new way to connect with the world around them.
The design of the app is visually appealing and reasonably intuitive. Users can look for sports teams, television shows and similar groups and join them to stay aware of upcoming premieres, games and similar events.
Unfortunately, even groups that have thousands of fans in real life, such as NFL teams, have anywhere between zero and half a dozen followers, so it’s extremely unlikely anyone will get any inside information, or much information at all, through “Cannonball.”
The best feature of “Cannonball” is its calendar function, which allows users to go day by day and look at television premieres, movie releases and similar events. It’s actually useful to have a source where a movie buff or sports fan can get all the information they need in one source.
Users can also schedule their own events and invite friends on the app. Thus, it’s possible that a user might see a movie premiere coming up and invite their friends to watch it with them, all through “Cannonball.”
Unfortunately, there are other, more efficient ways of finding out information like movie release dates and when the NCAA “March Madness” tournament begins. The app fails to provide users with more information than they would get from a google search, so the only way that a user might actually find a new release date is if they have very little or no knowledge of the film beforehand. Even if a user finds some indie movie that they think sounds interesting, there’s no description of shows or events, a function once again delegated to search engines.
“Cannonball” also suffers from a variety of technical issues. The 20 megabyte download probably didn’t include a patch for some of the glitches I experienced, and the app crashed more frequently than a social calendar app has any right to. In one hour of use, I had to restart the app three times due to crashes, one of which took place five minutes after first opening the app and setting up my interests and information.
Most of the successful social media apps and websites that have come before have appealed to some specific aspect of our personalities or a certain group of people. “Yik Yak” is successful because of its anonymity, and “Twitter” is loved for its brevity. “Cannonball” tries to claim a stake on every facet of pop culture, but ends up feeling shallow and failing to really appeal to any one group.