Cool Apps: ‘Showboatr’ is perfect for insanely competitive people


On the rare occasion that a YouTube video features humans rather than adorable animals, it will usually display one of two things: People doing extraordinary things or people making asses of themselves. If there were just a way to curate those two types of videos into a single place where people not only watch others embarrass and occasionally amaze, but also participate in the random acts of self-indulgence. That is where Showboatr comes in. It’s a new type of video sharing app that not only creates lots of easily digestible content, but also encourages people to play along.

showboatr5Showboatr is a social video sharing app that gets all of its footage by issuing assorted challenges. These can range from things as simple as sliding across the floor in your socks “Risky Business” style to having a friend throw a piece of food the distance of a basketball court and catch it in your mouth. There are even extra odd challenges like peeling a banana with your foot. The challenges are contained within themed sections called “Collections.” If, for example, you have a bunch of fruit lying around that you want to get rid of, try out the Fruit Champ Collection and see if you can punch through a watermelon or tear an apple in half.

People then answer the call issued in these challenges by posting 10 to 30 second videos that show them rising to the occasion – or failing miserably. Either way, it’s enjoyable to watch. If you watch an attempt that is particularly impressive or entertaining, you can do the Showboatr equivalent of “liking” the video – it’s called “Nailed It” – and share it across your social networks. If you’re completely unmoved by a competitor and think you can do better, give the video a mark of disapproval – “Failed It” – and tap the record option to film yourself completing the challenge.

Because Showboatr is all about challenges, you want to make sure that you have plenty of competitors. If you want to take on your friends, you can send out your own summons to draw them into the arena. Once you and your opponents have completed a challenge, send out the footage to Facebook and Twitter and collect the congratulations – sarcastic as they may be – for your accomplishments. What is there to gain aside from Internet fame? Well, probably the contempt of everyone who doesn’t really care about your menial talents, but haters gonna hate. You nailed it!

Design wise, there isn’t a whole lot to brag about for Showboatr. It’s a little underwhelming in terms of it’s visuals, but it functions as well as one could expect and the focus of Showboatr isn’t really the app itself as much as it is the content that users provide to it; it’s a social experience with a competitive edge to it. Even if it isn’t all that pretty, Showboatr does a good job of making sure you are delivered right to the point of interest. The biggest and best videos and the most appealing challenges are always given emphasis. 

Showboatr is designed to basically create viral content. As manufactured as that may sound, and that definitely is a fear going into the app, it actually does a good job of not coming across like some sort of weird “internet celebrity” marketing tool. It’s full of genuinely unique challenges that will make you respond with “I can totally do that” or “I have to see someone try to do that.” No matter which response yours is, you’ll be hooked.

If you think you’re up for a challenge, Showboatr is available for free from the iTunes App Store.

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