Pip.io is a web application that allows you to interact with your social network natively, while also integrating other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It’s basically a social networking operating system, acting as the glue between you and your various social networks. The Pip.io interface is much like the average desktop computer. You can switch between “applications” to access your social networks and drag some things around like windows on a desktop. Pip.io is currently in public beta.
The first thing you will probably want to do once you’ve created your Pip.io account is to install some applications. As of this writing, you can connect to Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, and generic RSS. Once you’ve installed an application, you can find it’s icon along the top of your screen. Clicking the icon will switch to it and simply hovering over the icon will show you specific areas that you can access within that application.
Pip.io allows for two-way interaction with your third-party services. This means that you can view your Twitter and Facebook feeds, your wall, your photo albums, and your lists. Additionally, you can post, comment, and share items to Twitter and Facebook. One interesting feature is that comments on an item are posted on your individual Pip.io feed and also show up on the item you commented on.
Pip.io boasts a rich set of privacy controls. Many times, we are not sure who, exactly, will see some specific message we post. To help make these decisions easier, Pip.io lets you specify exactly which individuals get to see each message. This is the type of controls FriendFeed has had for a while and Facebook just recently implemented.
Along these same lines, you can create channels/groups to further define your experience. A channel is simply a bunch of users communicating with each other privately from the overall community. You have to be authorized to participate in a channel. You could think of a channel in Pip.io like a Twitter list, except that subscribing to the channel will only show you interactions within that channel instead of everything everyone in the channel posts.
Pip.io is fully location-aware and will add your location to each update you post. Photos and videos are embedded automatically. If you play a video in Pip.io, it has it’s own popup window that you can move around while you continue to interact with the rest of the site. Other features include video chat, the ability to search for updates near a specific location, application docking, and integrated Twitter search.
Pip.io has a simple and clean interface that just about anyone can figure out at a glance. They hope to expand their application offerings into something like an App store in the near future, opening it up to third-party developers. If you needed a way to access all of your social networks from one place, Pip.io might be up to the task.
What do you think about Pip.io?
UPDATE: Pip.io has been out of beta and is technically past 1.0 at this time. (Thanks for the heads up, Akiva)