I am extremely proud to announce to you the availability of EasySocial 2.0 Alpha :) There are just too many things that is running on my mind right now but I will post some of the recap of EasySocial 2.0 next. So enjoy!
Redesigned Mobile Engine
We have tried to collaborate with EasySocial 1.4 on a mobile browser and to be honest, the experience was sub-par. We are now taking the whole mobile experience to a new level altogether. With the stock wireframe theme, the mobile experience in EasySocial 2.0 will amaze you. The toolbar and navigation was also redesigned to allow your users a less obstructive view of the site.
Apart from that, we are also experimenting with a new swipe engine that is only applicable on mobile browsers (It wouldn't load on desktop versions). You can try swiping the statistics underneath your profile, group, event or page. :)
I believe this feature doesn't require much explanation as everyone knows what a Facebook Page is but to those who are still lost, this was one of the most requested feature of EasySocial 2.0 where site users could start their own Business Pages, Fan Pages, Club Pages or anything that you could ever imagine.
I have personally seen many sites that tried adding a toolbar at the top of the page and to be quite frank, most of them doesn't look good at all and it certainly would turn users away. We will soon be releasing a new external plugin called "Docker" which will be published on the Apps Directory as soon as EasySocial gets into beta :)
Docker allow your users to navigate through the site, get notified of updates and also post updates on the fly without browsing through the page. It will redefine the way your community works. Docker is also intelligent enough whereby posting anything from the Docker will automatically inject these new items on any streams at all. Be it on a stream module or on your EasySocial dashboard.
Our goal since many releases ago is to unify and standardize the look and feel with toolbar across all of our extensions. In order to achieve that, we always thought that the only way to add more items on the menu is to have more working space (width of your template) . In preparation to unify the toolbar for all of our extensions, we have redesigned our toolbar (Some of our EasyDiscuss users might notice this already) to allow the toolbar to be more flexible.
It doesn't integrate with the rest of our extensions on the alpha yet but in the coming releases, we plan to turn that functionality on (Requires update on all of our extension).
Conversations Done Right
About 2 years ago, when EasySocial 1.0 was first showcased to the public, I was pretty excited to present the conversations layout (Some of you may have remembered). The look and feel of the previous conversation is pretty similar to what an e-mail really looked like and we thought it was pretty darn cool. However, as web pages are slowly being over-engineered, people tend to hate looking at e-mails all the time and if you are building a social network; you definitely want something fun and not looking at the screen which looks like your mailbox.
Over the years, as we add more functionality into the extension, we also added a complexity layer on it where people tend to get confused over the wide range of information that was being displayed. We always thought that it was good but we were proven wrong and simplicity is crucial in social web these days. With the new cards layout that represents your clusters, the brand new card layout would allow us to innovate further in future versions.
You may now upload gif images through EasySocial. This service rides on our brand new image resizing service over the cloud without you having to configure anything at all. As long as URL is available on your hosting's end point and you have an active subscription with us, we'll resize the images for you.
EasySocial 2.0 also received a huge performance booster and when you install the Alpha, you will soon realize that your site loads magically faster. Well, I can't guarantee that it will be magically faster for everyone (for sites that has hundreds and thousands of extensions) but in general, it would have a huge performance impact. What has been done:
- Larger libraries like masonry are only rendered when it needs to.
We have also improved the overall management interface and most of the administration area are now based on states. In non technical terms, whenever you filter a result set, it stays filtered and you don't have to filter it again unless you reset it :) The overall UI has also been improved with functionalities like easy access to the Apps Directory, Template files editor, Email files editor and a ton of other useful management tools.
Mobile Web App
As mentioned in my prior post, we will also be introducing a new mobile web app that redefines your entire social network on a mobile device. This is an external app and is not included in the extension so you don't have to use it if you don't want to :) It brings an extremely rich mobile experience for your users.
We have a total of 30 modules till date and with this release we will be adding another 5 new modules in this release. All 35 modules have been redesigned, refactored and it will look amazingly beautiful with the new UI of the modules. The 5 new modules added are:
- Recent Pages (Listing of pages on the site)
- Pages Menu (To allow quick access when one views a particular page)
- Pages Categories (Listing of categories for pages)
- User Statistics Module (Users can view their limits and usage)
- User Goals Module (Nice little goal tracker to motivate your users to perform more actions on the site)
There are just so many features that I would love to list them here but I guess it's best for you to give this a try for yourself by downloading the alpha release.
Thank You Everyone!
I would like to take this opportunity to Thank the team for building an amazing platform for Joomla! To some of you who are familiar with source control, the team has done close to 8,000 commits in the past couple of months to bring you EasySocial 2.0!
To those who doesn't know what source control is, try typing a different line of html codes on a different file and upload it through FTP for 8,000 times :)
Last but not least, I would also like to Thank all our customers for your support throughout these years and we wish to see you build greater and more interactive social networking sites in the coming months.
Oh, and before I forget, EasySocial 2.0 Alpha can be accessed at the Issues area by clicking on the button below :)
Let's Remove The Headphone Jack →
Happy Testing and Enjoy!