Anayou is Du’s (UAE’s 2nd biggest telecom operator) new big online project , which seemingly aims to position itself as a central destination for users. Some are describing it as a social networking service, and even though that’s the biggest piece of it, there are other pieces to this puzzle that Du seems to be putting together.
The first thing that you’ll notice from Anayou, before even getting to know what it does and doesn’t do, is how slick and neat it looks; it’s a well designed service that stands out from many of the other services that were previously launched in the region in the same area of focus.
Anayou offers a variety of features, covering the different functionalities you’d expect from a social network like finding and connecting with your friends, following their updates on Anayou as well as on services like Twitter and Facebook, leave comments (shout outs) on their profile pages, as well as messaging them in private.
On top of that, the messaging service expands to allow users to link their Gmail, Yahoo! mail or Hotmail accounts to Anayou, to be able to quickly have an overview of all their inboxes from one place. It also enables them to send SMS messages to their contacts from the same interface. There is a limit of 5 SMS messages per month though.
Another section on the site called the Vault, enables users to upload and store their photos and videos, which they can choose to keep as private or share with their friends and contacts on the service, send in messages, or use for avatars and more. In the same section, users also get to import and grow their address book of contacts, as well as use the Mobile Sync application to backup their SMS messages.
Anayou also acts as a central content portal for all types of entertainment content, providing users with all types of entertainment news; reviews of movies and music; movie details, trailers and cinema listings; songs, music videos and lyrics; celebrity news, photos and profiles; forums and more.
The site also includes a whole Games section that provides a list of games of different categories that users can play right from their browsers; in addition to the latest games news and forums to discuss games.
Among the interesting things that are planned for Anayou are Brand pages, where businesses will be able to create and manage their own brand pages to include their brand’s profile, upcoming events, discussion forums, contests, and connect with users from around the region. Anayou will also be working with brands to bring users special offers that they can benefit from, as well as share with their friends on the site.
The service is currently stll in beta, and is available in Arabic, English and French so as to cover the whole Arab world region, and to be available to users in the language they prefer using the most.
As you can see, the project is pretty big and ambitious from Du, covering many areas and trying to bring them all under one big umbrella; it should be worth watching to see how things work out in a space that is strongly dominated by Facebook, and whether Anayou will be able to grab some good market share in the region.
Anayou is available on the IPhone /Ipod Touch/IPAD . The link to download from ITunes is . Mobile Sync with the Sync service is currently supported on Blackberry, iPhone and a selection of Nokia, Sony Ericsson and other models
Source: Startup Arabia