Social media can be such a buzz kill sometimes. Take Microsoft's recent attempt to introduce an A.I. chatbot named Tay named to Twitter. Within 24 hours, Twitter had turned an innocent experiment into a hate spewing, racist chatbot that Microsoft had no choice but to shut down and apologize for. That's not how social media should be, and perhaps it's why Nintendo's Miitomo app is off to such a fast start.
Miitomo is Nintendo's first smartphone app. It's also a social network comprised of those Mii avatars that were first made popular on the Nintendo Wii. It's limited in what you can do and say, compared to other apps and social networks, but there's a charm that's captured the attention of millions of users—3 million, to be exact, which is the official number of Miitomo users around the world, according to Nintendo.
You start off by creating a Mii. There's a big library of facial features you can tap into to make your Mii look as close to you (or anyone else) as possible, or you can scan your mug and fine tune things from there. Your Mii talks, asking you questions to learn about you, such as your likes and dislikes. Be careful what you divulge, as your Mii will share that information with other Mii characters.
In Miitomo, you can dress up your Mii in a variety of outfits, talk with friends, share photos (called Miifotos) while using your handset's existing photos as backgrounds, play a mini game called Miitomo Drop, and, well, not too much else. There's no timed videos to share like Snapchat and you can't drop links like Twitter and Facebook, yet it's proving popular.
If there's a way to run Miitomo, the Internet will figure it out. Until then, millions of users have a good time playing around with Nintendo's quirky app. If you want to check it out yourself, it's available to download on Google Play and iTunes.