New LGBT social network fails right out of the gates

I just read about the beta launch over on AppScout and decided to sign up as a beta tester for the new LGBT social network, Friends You Know. Unfortunately, I ran into a couple of things that deterred me from activating my account.

First, I was able to select Canada as my country of residence, but the state drop-down did not update with Canadian provinces. The state field is not required, so it could be left empty (actually, there is no empty option, so it defaults to AL.) Next, the form choked on a Canadian postal code. I ended up submitting “Seattle, 12345.”

There is a monthly fee to join the network, though they will donate 10% of subscription fees to organizations that support LGBT interests, and beta testers receive a 12-month account for $1 (regularly $9.95/month.) Unfortunately, they required my credit card information to process my $1 payment—no PayPal option. It was at this point that I abandoned the account activation process.

My advice to Friends You Know?

  1. With so many free social networks out there, you simply have to drive the point that you are making a 10% donation to a LGBT cause. That still might not be enough to pry dollars from wallets, but it’s better than nothing.
  2. Make it EASY for me to fork over cash. Give me a PayPal option. I don’t hand over my CC number to just any new social networking start-up that comes along.
  3. Design your sign-up form so that it errors out gracefully. I shouldn’t have to enter a US state and zip code to get through registration if I live in Canada!
  4. Can I choose a user name, please?

I applaud Friends You Know for striving to be more than a glorified dating service, but this is one social network that I won’t be adding to my online destinations.

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