After a few false starts and nearly a year of coding and consultations with other sharing network founders, I’m delighted to finally release Sharebay v3.0. Truth be told, we could have released it some months ago, but new features and ideas presented themselves that were impossible to resist, and I hope they could prove game-changing for a platform whose mission itself is to change the game!
TL;DR: The highlights of the new version are: a newsfeed, social interactivity, seamless mobile design, simplified registration and usability, delivery safe-payment system, improved transaction system and a clean, fresh look!
Apart from a better look and functionality generally, the most significant breakthrough I think is the ability to pay for shipping of items safely and securely. I call it ‘Safe-Pay’ and it works like this: a person requesting an item can now offer to pay for delivery costs if the giver packs and sends the item. If the giver agrees, the getter can then make a payment which is held by Sharebay until after the item has been received. This has double benefits: 1: the getter knows that they won’t get scammed paying delivery for an item that never arrives (a common scam unfortunately), and 2: the giver can send in confidence knowing that the payment to reimburse them has already been made. I expect this feature to open up Sharebay to more people in more places whether there are members in their area or not.
Finally, our new site and data structure also lends itself to a myriad of new possibilities for the future, including connecting to other similar sites and sharing inventory, or linking directly into other social platforms like Twitter or Mastodon. We may even be on the brink of creating a new kind of subnet for the distribution of free goods and services. The possibilities are limitless.
Here’s the full breakdown of newly added features in Version 3:
New ‘hands’ logo and site colour scheme
New branded home page for new visitors
Faster, simplified sign up process
News / activity feed. See the latest listings, members and site activity in real time
Social tools added: commenting, liking and sharing on anything
Enhanced mobile app style view
Simplified layout with search side bar and listing suggestions
Private messaging menu
Faster, simpler posting with inline offer and request form
Automatic category select when posting
Review and five star rating system for completed transactions
Better matching tools to show you more of what you like
Better reporting tools: Report suspect listings anonymously from news feed
Better safety tools: Block any profile anonymously from news feed
Better admin tools for detecting and dealing with suspicious behaviour
‘Stories’ renamed to ‘blog’
‘Stripe’ level system replaced with simpler two-badge (silver/gold) Trusted Member system
(much) Improved transaction flow and reminder system
Safe-Pay delivery payment system added to transaction flow
Increased listing picture resolution
Faster site caching and database structure
Innumerable code rationalisations to make the site go faster!