Furry Amino – Mixed Review

Furry Amino: Drink your Kool-Aid dietary supplement!

Here comes yet another chat system promising to bring the world together one community at a time which that system is called “Furry Amino” which you’ve probably heard a lot of “YouTube Peoples” talk about and the admins of this system seem pretty keen on its users to give a review so guess what? I’m going to give you just that my unfiltered review about the latest and theoretical greatest in mobile technology which is Furry Amino. Lets just say Furry Amino is a bit of a mixed bag.

Oh damn, disclaimer time!

Disclaimer: The following review is the opinions of the blogger on s-config.com and do not reflect nor represent the entire community opinions of Furry Amino or the entirety of the furry community. S-Config.com is not responsible for any physical, emotional, or financial damage that could theoretically occur while exercising our countries 1st amendment rights of free speech.

Read on if you want to know more.

Introduction.

I first found out about Furry Amino through a YouTuber that I shall omit from saying in case there’s terrible repercussions from this review. Not only did he do an introduction video about it but actually did about two more videos of questions he’s asking the community back and forth to sort of spice up their channel. Soon after I started getting twitter feeds about various peoples Furry Amino Profiles. So I looked up as to exactly what IS an Amino.

Amino is a community where you could have either a broad topics of different genres like the Amino to discuss with other like-minded people. But certain genres do not like to play nice with other groups or fans like say , Star-Wars and Star-Trek fans to use a classic example. You could almost feel the nerd rage when we said that didn’t you? So instead of having just one Amino app to rule them all. There is now several Amino apps which focus on a particular group of people.

Let the social network wars begin!

Amino is an app which is attempting to fill the void between forums, Usenet, IRC, and CMS applications like the Ming Network. The “one network to rule them all” type of attitude. Furry Amino has entered the social network war alongside applications like Twitter, FaceBook, and Telegram. Stating that they want to be the one-stop-shop for your community! The appeal that we seen in a program like this is frankly we’re looking for any application that can overthrow FaceBook. Because FaceBook as a company is rotten to the core and deserves to be knocked down a few pegs. No one should have that level of power over masses of people like FaceBook and Twitter has.

This is great, I want to try Amino web version before installing it on my phone.

If you go to the site – No, you can’t. Unlike Twitter, Skype, Telegram, and practically every other social network tool Amino is a community that shuns your computer! Because that’s ancient technology! Who uses desktops anymore right? No one that’s who! For those who are used to slamming out entire paragraphs on your touchscreen because you’re super-bored at work then you’re ready to rock and roll. If you hate your keyboard touchscreen. Then Amino in general is going to really suck for you.

If you want Furry Amino officially on your phone of choice . Google/Android click here, Apple click here, Windows, Blackberry and Palm you are also shit out of luck.

The Amino group provides no way of acquiring the APK directly from their website like other developers do such as the XBMC group. This is unfortunate because sometimes Google Play is not an option for certain android users depending on limitations of their country or simply because the user installed Cyanogen and actually like having an Android device with Google monitoring them.

Alternative approach to getting Amino onto your PC:

Just because the Amino team doesn’t wish to embrace the age old computer which still makes a significant percentage of the internet using community doesn’t mean that all hope is lost for getting Amino to work on your PC. We’re just going to have to use bloated virtual boxes that literally load the entire android OS into system memory in order to accomplish this.

If you like typing on chat with a professional grade keyboard and mouse. You know! The way it’s supposed to be! There is an Android virtual box application which can help with this such as the BlueStacks program. It’s reasonably fast for an android emulator within windows. It even has a streaming mode so you could stream your Amino on Twitch if you wanted to. But..  why? Why would you do that? The window resizing is locked in landscape modes leaving you deal with these giant pillar boxes as you use it.

Another notable android emulator is one called Andy. It allows window resizing to compensate for Amino’s lack of programming skill with adapting their social network to landscape modes. But I don’t like Andy a whole lot because the installer is filled with Ad-Ware and the andy OS itself occasionally tries to auto-install games for you in a mal-ware attitude without really an option to turn on or off suggested games from Andy. So in short I have to classify Andy as a “Use at your own risk” type of android virtual box app.

Welcome to Furry Amino! Poof! Your a Cyborg!

Whoa! That’s a little jarring! Lets dive right into the very first thing you get after you setup the basics such as your username, password, and whatever default picture of your character which you may or may not have on your phone.

Aww look, I can follow the admins and makes the hearts animation and what the fuck is going on?!?!

 You are greeted with something like the above screens. Rather then explain anything to you as to what is going on or how their network even works. We’re just going to have you follow all of the admins and curators and then some random 40+ other people the Furry Amino deems fit. And then you’re going to like 40+ posts that chances are you won’t even spend the time to scroll up and down to read. You probably won’t even bother to realize you can scroll up and down on this screen and as a result you probably liked an article on why Hitler is great but it doesn’t matter so long as you get the hearts animation!

Perhaps we went a little too far!

Okay okay! There is probably no pro-nazi posts in Furry Amino because that’s what leaders and curators are for (net-cops of this chat domain). But there is a diabolical nature towards the Amino App doing this when it comes to just auto-liking posts. Which gets into the argument with advertisers looking for an “Organic User-Base”.

Google Ad-Sense content broken obviously.

Currently at the time of this article, there’s no commercials or ads in Furry Amino. But as everyone in the fandom is painfully aware thanks to FurAffinity. Just because it doesn’t have ads doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. As a blogger who does not believe in the concept of corporations being “altruistic”. They will probably use a marketers “bait and switch” tactic to reel users in and soak them with ads for revenue later. Amino can go to potential advertisers and say:

Hey! Look! We have a vibrant community of thousands of users! And they’re all one happy community that you could sell too!

You can’t use bots to boost likes and follows because people will call your ass out for it. Instead, you simply “Assist” the user into liking random posts and users. Congratulations, your a Cyborg! Oh sure! they put a skip button that’s transparent and in the background. but who clicks on that hmm? Your weak human brain will just go for the neon colored options anyways.

There is very little Organics in Amino. The majority of the clicks and follows is all an automated process that no one will see or hear except it looks nice on an excel spreadsheet. Subversion of what is truly organic at it’s finest.

Update 10/28/2016:

Well, that didn’t take them long to have pop-up ads within Amino! Usually self-promotion for other communities is the first step to get people involved with the pop-up itself. Afterwards they can start switching it out with legit payable ads like a good soulless organization!

 

The rules of Furry Amino.

Link here for your review of all of the rules within Furry Amino without having to login.

One of the more controversial aspects of the Amino network is the same argument that I hold towards the Ning Network which is the rules that they instill upon all communities. In particular those which deal with censorship. Be it porn, or violence. Furry Amino wishes to take a hard-line stance against making their definition of the fandom anything more then PG-13.

This is OUR HOUSE wait it’s actually Google and Apples house. Sorry guys!

The reason for this is (which I had to go to Amino’s primary site to find this out) is that in order to maintain their published app status on both Apple and Google Play they must have a maximum content restriction of PG-13. That instead of an admin or in this case “Curators” determining what is legal and what is not. You are having a third party company determine this for you in order to maintain your good standing for application distribution.

The application differences.

But S! Grindr, Twitter, Telegram, Skype, they all allow it!

Not publicly! Grinder and Skype are person to person encrypted and data is being stored only on the phone. Twitter allows it if you setup an “Afterdark” account and mark it private. Telegram’s policy towards adult material takes the liberal stance of if it’s painted/drawn then it is considered “art” versus photography which is porn. Telegram is also in a bit of a grey area because even though things are hosted on their servers documents do self-destruct after a certain amount of time. Amino on the other hand has none of his documents/images self-destruct. By the very nature of me pulling up the rules link to their site they are in fact completely open to the public!

Onto censorship and the internet.

Almost all furry conventions are PG, and Amino is doing the same. I don’t see what the big problem is S.

Just because you instill rules of how you want to play house does not mean you won’t be criticized for doing so!

The very core of the internet is to have the freedom of information and ideas to be exchanged well…. freely! As the very core of the furry fandom is to be as open as possible. Sometimes that means being a little too open to some people! Perhaps talking about adult topics may not be your cup of tea. But if you’re kind of a tyrant if you deny that opportunity to others. In a sense, it breaks the very core of that Furry Fandom was all about. That it isn’t limited to whatever that you can typically see in the next Disney flick but instead it’s what is limited only to that of your imagination. To censor that out of interests of a third party and for future advertisement revenue will only alienate the very base you want to attract.

Now I know what some people are going to say to this. They will immediately go on the defensive and spout off what some guy in a lab coat says about the this fandom:

Adult pornography in the furry fandom is a very small section and does not represent the entirety of it!

– Too many people to count!

This gets back to the core of why Furry Amino censors . The fact that regardless of how small you may think something is within a fandom. It does not automatically give anyone including Google and Apple the right to remove it! If you’re going to say that you want to develop an application for the fandom but then let 3rd party companies dictate how said fandom is going to operate then you’re not really representing that fandom now aren’t you? If this is something a fan-base truly wants then they wouldn’t need Apple of Googles permission because the fans would find ways to get the application regardless. It’s very disingenuous of Amino to attempt to bend the will of an unmarketable culture in an effort to mainstream and profit off it.

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.

– John F. Kennedy.

Technical standpoint of the rules.

Looking at this from a technical standpoint: This link is the very page I just linked to  should be the first thing every Amino user sees! Not the automated follows/likes page! Communication is key and the curators/admins will sit back and go say some crap like this:

Not knowing about the rules does not make you immune to them. Nuff said.

– Erik Ortega

That’s great Erik! However, you don’t really give users a chance!

The rules only exist on the front page tab that is it! So if the user flicks off of the front page and over to their profile or chat where they naturally will be guess what? No one is going to see your rules! The Furry Amino application does not even try to throw a TOS agreement pop-up at the end-user to click “I Agree”. That as a community leader you’ve at least TRIED to get the user to read the rules. You simply tuck your rules in with everything else assuming that everyone will click on every possible tab on your site and eventually reads your rules. The thought process is unrealistic and you are assuming that every user is going to jump into Amino the same way you did. You’re going to have to force-show the clients the rules or else it won’t be seen.

“Nuff said.”

Your profile.

When you take a look at your personal profile you’ll quickly find out that it feels like twitter circa late 2000’s before twitter decided to stop users from having animated gifs and backgrounds which take over their entire profile page (with good reason.) The major difference Amino has is the “Reputation” which takes from Ming networks where it awards you “Banana participation sticker points” for everything you do such as comment on the forums, follow people robotic-like. post pictures, etc.

So many blank Bio’s!

When looking through a lot of furry profiles on Amino we can’t help but notice how many blank bio tabs there are in a persons profile. I think I know why. Especially with people that have obviously been around and have tapped that like and follow button A LOT! It’s because when texting on your phone not many people are in the mode to write a long story about their character on the phone. Which for those which suffer from this problem I want to take a minute to help you out on how to do this quickly on Furry Amino.

  1. Jump on a computer.
  2. Type up your character description in word or whatever you use.
  3. copy/paste that word document in an e-mail to yourself. Preferably an e-mail that you could easily access from your phone.
  4. Once you receive said e-mail, tap-hold and “Select All” and then tap-hold for “Copy”
  5. Tap-hold “Paste” your huge character description into the Bio.
  6. Profit!

With just a few tap-holds to copy and paste text around. Your furry bio is setup and ready to rock and roll! Bio’s are very important within the furry fandom because it presents a character description in text form for an artist to read and to design a character around. Failure to provide a bio makes the artist job that much harder as they have no idea who you are or what you even like.

Banned Profiles.

Because of Amino and their rules about freedom of speech getting banned from these communities can prove to be very easy. Even if you are a contributing member that eventually if you make a mistake such as use too much profanity or post the wrong kind of picture. You’re gone! But here’s the thing. Your account is not -really- gone! It’s still in Amino in this ghost-like state because by removing you completely would break the fabric of the community especially if you started a lot of threads or responded to people. Since the account is not completely deactivated it still counts as a follow on your user profile page.

Great, so now we’re dealing with zombies on top of having cyborgs! It just gets better and better!

On Furry Amino , your blog is not really your blog.

Have something personal to say to your friends and followers within your blog? Too bad! It’s being pooled together in the ‘latest blogs’ section for more Cyborgs and the occasional real person behind a phone to naturally click on. Cyborgs serve a second purpose you see. In the age of instant gratification if people don’t see any likes on whatever the type Regardless of what it is that they are typing. Then people will leave a social network service and uninstall it from their phone versus working hard towards making a good profile and getting natural likes and comments.

You’re only as popular as long as Amino keeps you on the front page.

It should be noted that at the time of this blog posting the cyborg likes and follows slow down after about 45 minutes which I guess that’s when the latest news of furry Amino no longer becomes the latest news anymore. This is kind of like most art servers like Furaffinity or DeviantArt where you have literally seconds for your art to be on the front page before it is gone forever filed in the depths of their database.

The time and duration will change based on how many cyborgs new-users login at the time of your posting. So in essence if you want to be the “popufur” on Amino without going through the work of buying a fursuit or hosting a moderately successful YouTube channel. Just machine-gun blog about your life!

Chat Rooms.

Another major function of Furry Amino is the chat room function. It is something of a MUST for any social network CMS to have otherwise you’re kinda dead. Okay. Lets dive into that.

Witness these glorious screenshots! Crap!

At first you’re probably thinking that I’m looking at the popular videos section on YouTube. But you’re mistaken. Within a matter of minutes joining I got to witness just about every rule get completely shattered. This is the internet pretty much fighting the system. So much so that I had to break out the awesome faces for this blog entry.

What’s this S? Your censoring? You hypocrite! You’re as bad as they are!

HEY! If we want to show you adult content we’ll do it on our own terms and with our own content! We don’t NEED to steal anyone’s art to do so! Half of the porn if it didn’t fall under adult content would fall under art theft so it’s actually a double-violation on Amino!

Chat room guinea pig attention span and chat room spamming.

I will say that most of the chat rooms presented in those screenshots get shut down quickly by the curator team. But you see, these are cyborgs we’re talking about here. They may be human but they’ll still come at you like a spam-bot!  More chat rooms open up and pop right to the top of the Amino interface with no real option to sort for the most popular or what your followers are into. Since even if their accounts get suspended or terminated the barrier for entry is so easy on Amino that they can simply generate a new account and be right back at opening garbage channels.

Your two weeks old and you have people talking? Wow!

As a result if you are a well established chat room that has been around for months you will probably stagnate and die because hardly anyone uses that search option which you can only use when tapping “Public Chats” and then flicking upwards at the very top of the chat screen. Talk about an awkward interface that way! So users keep making more and more chat rooms. Within a weeks time we had 12 different rooms for “Wisconsin Furries” as just one example each of them having anywhere from 3 to 12 people in it. All of them closed after a weeks time.

It’s great that you can create channels. But unlike IRC and other chat systems. It’s irrelevant to have a respected and stable chat channel.

Chat channel subversion.

There is a lot of channels on Furry Amino that do everything in their power to subvert the rule-sets that exist. The most popular one is taking the conversation away from Amino and into another program like Telegram or Skype. A lot of furries are also in private group chat because as long as you don’t get reported to a curator and don’t post too many stupid images that get stored on the server. Then you can say/do whatever you want in a private chat. There’s almost a cognitive dissidence to this part of Amino. That due to the rules, people now have to inclusive yet exclusive at the same time in order to truly express themselves without facing a k-line/perma-ban.

The Chat Room itself.

I decided to join the most furry thing I could find that’s relative to my interest and ultimately landed on a Vaporwave chat channel. Because I like the “AssDeadDicks” of the genre and decided to talk to other like-minded individuals.

Some of the users actually pointed me to some good artist which are all about the Vapor/Chill/PC-sound music which I’m all about that. I can’t explain Vaporwave in this article but I mostly wanted to show you the chat engine itself. It’s very simple with that SMS messenger feel to it and Amino gives you some widgets to use for pasting more interactive items into the channel like YouTube and various gifs and jpgs that can be uploaded to Amino’s server for users to get in trouble over.

Other then that there is a lot of lag spiking going on when talking even on my WI-fi connection but it’s not so bad that you’ll miss the opportunity to reply.

No sound attachments.

Unlike telegram where you could attach sounds that other users can listen to within their network. Amino at the time of this posting offers no feature which is bizarre as you would almost expect a social network that surrounds your mobile phone to involve the microphone and speakers at some point. Unfortunately, you’re only limited to YouTube and none of the other sharing widget services such as SoundCloud, MixCloud, or even other video providers like Vimeo.

The only explanation I have for this is it falls back to an administrative headache to not only filter all of your words in an Orwellian New-Speak fashion to make the Google and Apple Gods happy. But also to filter and regulate sound as well.

The younger generation.

Furry Amino is designed for ages 13 and up. They can’t go below 13 because of some insane United States federal law that requires crazy regulation and thus watering an already thin crowd down to Nintendo MiiVerse Community where you’re just a icon and that’s it! As a result of how low the age bracket is you’re going to have a lot of kids that are very new to the fandom or in some cases don’t even know what furry even means.

Don’t get me wrong, out there on the web is a few switched on 13 year old kids that know their shit and had to grow up quick. Those teenagers will be drowned out by the handful of ass-hats which drag their entire generation into the dirt as it tends to happen with every generation really. As a result many mentally older people will be driven away from Amino due the levels of stupid sometimes appears within this app.

You want to send art via Furry Amino? You may want to re-think your plans.

This is a uncompressed 24-bit png.

As you could brutally see Furry Amino uses heavy compression to the point where even when I set the jpg quality in Photoshop to 0 out of 100 it still does not look at terrible as the “Amino Optimized” image on the right. The logic of this is to probably save stupid amounts of space on their web-server and to ensure that Furry Amino is fast and responsive to it’s mobile user client base which can have anywhere from dial-up speeds to LTE speeds on their cell-phone.

If your an artist doing commission work for people on Furry Amino be sure and send a non-destructive file to your client via e-mail or post it elsewhere other then Furry Amino. Simply sending them a copy of the image and saying “Good Enough” is doing both you the artist and the client a serious injustice on quality control.

What GOOD is Furry Amino?!?!?

As long as you understand that a significant portion of Furry Amino is Cyborg Likes and follows then it’s still a great site to serve as a signal booster to some of your projects related to that fandom. For example:

  • Have a YouTube channel and are looking for a few extra subscribers? Furry Amino can help you right there.
  • Running a blog or an art site then Furry Animo can help you there as well. If you think of this community as just a pool to send links relevant to them to then Amino serves its function very well.
  • Are you an artist which needs to let the world know that you take commissions and are willing to illustrate their characters to life. Furry Amino is great because everyone needs art for their character profile.
  • If your a musician. Even though Amino lacks support for sound such as firing Ogg/Opus sound files like Telegram. You can still at least link to your band-camp.

If you bored and looking for some random action on your phone while you’re stuck in the basement of a 711 waiting for the sun to set so you can hook back up with your vampire friends. Then Amino is a great app in that respects as well. It’s about as much of a time-waster as all of the other apps on your phone so why the hell not!

The community.

When you sit back and look at what is all being discussed within Furry Amino. Not just the chat rooms but the forums as well! You realize that these are all the same topics of conversation that get brought up at furry conventions time and time again! So in a sense Furry Amino is doing a major justice in allowing people to see what goes on within a fandom on their mobile phone without ever having to pay good money to a third party convention team in order to loiter in a hotel. If you like the community within Furry Amino then you’ll probably have a great time at a convention. If not. Well, keep the change!

The Curators.

Some people complained about the bias of the curator staff of the Amino project. Understand that curators/net-cops/administrators/leaders are human beings. As such, they will involve emotion to effect their decisions as they wade through the walls of information. Unless your the CEO or a primary share holder of the Amino project none of us really have a say in these matters. If you don’t like how things are being run then you can go elsewhere. The internet is vast and infinite and all of that! It’s why we will probably not invest too much time in this social platform any further except for promotion.

We understand that curators enforce the laws not set down by the people within the fandom. But by the network to which they must comply with. Conversations with said network tends to be a one-way-street in this process. This is why it’s not logical to debate the impracticality of the Amino project.

Keep your websites boys and girls!

Will Furry Amino replace your current business model of the way you sell your fandom related artwork?

No, a social network should not be your base of doing any and all business through just one channel. It simply drives us nuts to see artists only doing business on Facebook while neglecting the rest of the known internet out there. A social network is designed to get the word out to you. And Amino is that conduit to reach an audience which may not even have a computer and only their smart phone! As I said in one of my blogs.

Social Networks are your butterflies. They’re pretty and they fly around all over the place. but you should still have a home for where the butterflies return to.

In my case, my profile links right to this very blog and thus its effective that way.

 

What’s your Furry Amino Profile ?

Profile Link.

Here it is. I know someone will probably report me to the curators. Which eh. If I get kicked then so be it. You can’t let a social network control so many aspects of your life that it cripples you the moment it is gone.

Final thoughts.

As the freedom of expression itself is slowly getting trampled in the interest of ad-revenues understand this.  Those who are looking for a totally unrestricted version of Amino. Something where you can get all of the cartoon porn/violence you want. There is outlets within the community for it. But nothing with a nice mobile interface. Don’t look at this as a bad thing! Look at this as an opportunity!

If there is enough demand for such an application a developer might sit down and make it. Who knows, it may even become the next greatest thing on the net. Until then Furry Amino is at the very least a step in the right direction. While I tend to go on diatribes of hatred about the social engineering aspects of Amino  perhaps even those will get worked out over time.

It may seem like I was getting really hateful towards Amino. And perhaps that hate is justified. But when you start looking at all of the other styles of social networks within the fandom. They are simply old and outdated. Perhaps I’m old and outdated. Shit. Guess I’ll go back to playing with DikuMUDs on my VT100 terminal.

Anyhow, this is our take on it. Not sure if it’s useful for you. But if it is great, if not then hey, thanks for reading all the way through.

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