Not Just A Map

People invest millions into developing social networks. They invest even more to turn social networks into profit. But a simple tool, proposed by Yandex (top Russian search engine, offering a multitude of services , just like Google) is certain to blow some minds.

It all started as a simple app for iOS and Android, which gathered data on traffic situation and put it on EDGE/3G powered map. Google, apparently, does that too. What Google didn’t do is put in an extra button for user feedback.

The idea was pretty straightforward: by using “Accident”, “Roadwork” and “Others” buttons users would voluntarily put current traffic info on the map.

And it worked. People received a new anonymous platform to be more humane and actually help each other. They were also allowed to moderate each other: anyone using this app could either approve or reject the sign placed by other users depending on its validity.


On an iPhone screen this app looks like this on a busy day

But soon after the launch of the app the developers saw that this platform wasn’t about the traffic anymore. First, some users started to post messages irrelevant to traffic in the text fields. Afterwards, the fact that one can actually post anything he wants on this interactive map became pretty obvious to the users. Developers got the trend quickly and introduced “Chat” (Raz-go-vore-chee-key) button, thus allowing everyone to engage into any discussions (as long as they didn’t contain any swear words).


Ordinary traffic app helps producing some hilarious jokes

Now, also due to the gradually declining traffic situation in Moscow, it became a full-blown social network (even though anonymous). People discuss politics, rant about meegalkahs, get acquainted, post personal (or even commercial) ads, tell jokes, make up new ways to go around Yandex swear words filters and, all in all, communicate. Well, I’m telling you, there isn’t much more to do, when you’re stuck in traffic.


There is a thin border between fun and desperation

The illustrations to this article are from my personal collection of yandex-maps quotes. We’ve got some of them posted on our Facebook page. We’re also on Twitter, Instagram (@thisisbearsandvodka), VK and even on Jumpcam.

By Slava Moroz

Slava prefers to be That Guy. Because everyone wants to be That Guy. Even his favorite B&V merchandize t-shirt says so.