A few weeks ago, Sandbox officially went to public beta. I would like to explain what it is and what it is good for, but Jayvee of A Bugged Life has beaten me to the punch and has put it more eloquently, as quoted below.
What is Sandbox?
Sandbox is an online platform that allows anyone to connect with friends and share blog posts, photos and videos. Apart from this, Sandbox is also an online content store where you can buy music and games. So what sets it apart from other social networks? Sandbox is also locally developed and thus there is a continuous stream of offline fulfillment through giveaways, raffles and prizes.
In other words, Sandbox is in the business of building communities because not only is there interaction between your friends, there is also conversation between the developers and the users. In marketing terms, it isn’t just horizontal exchanges between consumers, but also vertically, where the product talks back and gives value to insights and suggestions from the community — alongside promotions and giveaways! – SOURCE
I was given the chance of participating in the private beta testing phase of Sandbox, and I have seen its growth and changes, from the very minute detail of a typo to the addition of a major feature. I wasn’t all impressed with it at first, but I can’t really blame the developers. It is, after all, in the very early stages of development.
Now, I’m the type of geek that gets his hands dirty without reading the manual first, so when I check the manual is when I find a bug. I look for answers first, and upon finding no documentation whatsoever, inform and suggest solution/s to the developers. After all, that’s what a beta tester is supposed to do.
Sandbox has two interfaces: web and mobile. Sandbox Web caters to the user that prefers accessing a site via a proper web browser (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, etc.), while Sandbox Mobile, also accessible via a computer’s web browser, is designed with the mobile-toting geek in mind. Sandbox Web is where most of the promotions and giveaways are found. From here, you can get free games, music, photos, etc. To get the free items, Sandbox will send a link to the mobile number you subscribed with upon joining. Unfortunately, you will need to be a Smart subscriber to be able to get those free items. Being Smart-powered, it wasn’t a surprise. Also, these free items aren’t available internationally.
Sandbox Mobile, when accessed using a web browser, displays three columns, but only displays the center column when accessed using a mobile phone. However, this interface is basically a skinned Mostyle interface, and the backend is also a customized Mostyle engine. Mostyle is a mobile site generation engine that simply asks for some information, and with a few clicks of the mouse, a mobile site is born. At least, that’s what I think it is. Currently, users are allowed to create up to two mobile sites.
In summary, Sandbox is a mega mashup of services and web apps. It tries to put together a number of social network sites into one big portal that is designed to be accessed on a mobile phone. It allows users to post status updates and blog entries, share videos and photos, and provide a markteplace of sorts for selling and buying stuff. It is still in beta, and a lot of features are being added as of this writing. Hopefully, all pending issues and bugs will be fixed when it goes gold. User adoption rates will basically dictate if this service, developed by Pinoys for Pinoys, will sink or swim.