If you've ever spent any time at all reading comments or reviews online, then you know the Internet is, generally, a harsh place.
Social media, however, is relatively peppy. Approval is part of the basic currency; you can "favorite" something on Twitter, "Like" it on Facebook, repin on Pinterest. All virtual high fives, attaboy slaps on virtual posteriors.
But now comes the Hater app, which aims to bring social media in line with the rest of the Web. Which is to say, make it a place to vent, rip, slam and criticize. Yay?
Making its well-timed debut in the iTunes store on the eve of SXSW, Hater's basic pitch is that you "SHARE the things you HATE with the people you LOVE." You know, in case you've never been able to complain before.
Head Hater Jake Banks has been going around Austin this week calling his app the "Instagram for haters," and it's a pretty accurate description. The photo-sharing layout is remarkably similar, right down to its discovery and posting tools. But where Instagram has a heart, hater has a thumbs down. Because there's no room for your mushy-wushy love in Hatertown.
Users post a photo and a caption of whatever it is they want to hate on (traffic, a pile of laundry, Taylor Swift) and other viewers can thumb it down, approving your disapproval. You can track your friend feed and a list of popular posts on the app to stay current on what we're hating on today.
Banks told Mashable the app is different than the already ingrained social routine of posting or retweeting with a negative comment. "You're sitting at work, working a 12-hour shift and you go on Facebook and you see your friend from high school is on his third vacation of the month, and he's taking pictures of his food and all that. Now you can snapshot it and Hate it."
Since the free app just launched, the community (and consequently, its offerings) is admittedly a bit slim right now, but already, users are eagerly posting Kim K "duck face" pics, thoughts on working late and photos of tangled cable cords. Hater will roll out on Android in a few months.