Tapatalk - fact or fiction?

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by Ingenious, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. Ingenious

    Ingenious Fan

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    As a forum that has Tapatalk installed I'm increasingly reading about people disabling this and moving over to responsive themes. I'm getting swept along with a general hysteria against Tapatalk, however, put aside these concerns and it DOES actually make using a forum easier on a phone. People like apps.

    I'm wondering if people with more knowledge of this app can help cutting through what is fact and fiction so we can all make an informed decision? And before anyone asks, I see the posting of this in the Tapatalk forum as pointless, given their lack of interest in posting there (and potential to censor any anti-tapatalk responses).

    Tapatalk is insecure - fact or fiction?

    All plugins carry a risk. I remember vBSEO on my old forum which had such a major issue some large forums were hacked and destroyed (that brought forward my move to Xenforo). Tapatalk (I'll use TT from now to save my fat fingers) has had some issues but are these overplayed? It will certainly worries me that a third party plugin has such deep penetration into my data.

    Tapatalk "steals" data - fact or fiction?

    What do these claims mean? My worry is that my content will be "scraped" and used elsewhere, or amalgamated with other forums' content - potentially my competitors, thus diluting my community. Is this concern justified?

    Tapatalk strips out my branding and my advertisers - fact or fiction?

    Well fact because I can see it. None of my niche relevant branding is in the basic app and none of my advertisers show up (because I place custom banners). I understand that is the point to some extent - it's an app designed for speed and ease, not eye candy.

    I do NOT want third party advertising in my forum. What is the solution? Would a BYO app enable me to control all of this fully, at a price? Are there any admins here who use a BYO solution with their own branding and own manual pool of adverts that I can have a look at on Tapatalk so see what it looks like? And to those admins, was it worth the money (it's a monthly cost that equals my hosting costs!)?

    Tapatalk is only interested in aggregate content - fact or fiction?

    By aggregate I mean lumping together all my posts with my competitors and other "forums that might interest" the user and showing this content, thus diluting my community (unless I am missing the point and this would actually be beneficial). I have read various posts around the net saying this is where TT is moving towards, a full "forum app" experience - but what if I want to retain my independence?

    People prefer apps to responsive - fact or fiction?

    Putting lack of notifications aside (yes fixable with a plugin I know), many claim people are fine using a browser on a responsive theme and many claim people can't be arsed and prefer an app. Who is right here? A friend of mine is a daily user of a forum on responsive (an IPB forum on their excellent mobile theme) and doesn't seem to have a problem.


    Basically, if TT was secure and able to provide a good app experience of using a forum (generally it does) AND I can control my branding, colours and logo AND I can decide where to place ads from my OWN pool of advertisers (on a $0 click rate as adverts are placed and paid with me directly) it sounds like an ideal solution. AND also TT don't keep bringing in new features I don't want which are enable my default (like the ability to register in-app which totally circumvented all the anti-spam controls!!).

    Maybe a better question then given my requirements would be, invest in build your own OR ditch it and go responsive with a push notification plugin?
     
  2. Bitnull

    Bitnull Fan

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    The only reason TAZ has removed Tapatalk is because I don't like the way Tapatalk handle security (server-side) – there have been vulnerabilities with Tapatalk and the way they handle it/notified its customers also raises some concerns.
     
  3. Clickfinity

    Clickfinity I can has cheezburger?

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    I removed it because they changed from being an "app" company who provided a useful tool for my members (a clear and simple common interface to access all of their favourite forums) - into an "ads" company who appear much more interested in, and geared towards, piggy-backing my investment in my sites by monetising the content of my pages (inserting content of their own!) and marketing to my membership.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  4. Lizard King

    Lizard King Habitué

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    An app is extremely important . Responsive designs offer a solution up to a level. Without actual push notifications they can't replace a dedicated app.

    We use Tapatalk BYO for our board. However as Null described their security issues also create huge concerns for us. We created detailed NewRelic notifications to monitor any possible attempt through Tapatalk API just to make sure we use a secure product.

    We are planning to use Tapatalk for the next 6 months where we develop our own App after IPB 4 release.

    We are not happy with the income we generate through Tapatalk ad options. Additionally Tapatalks all interests are clearly on their own. They don't care board owners. It is a simple fact with our 2 year history with Tapatalk.

    And Tapatalk is not a cheap solution. It costs way more then IPB, Xenforo or vBulletin licenses. When we pay this much money we expect improvements for our product. They only implemented improvements are focused to increase their ad earnings.

    Latest increased privacy concerns are huge also.
     
  5. meetdilip

    meetdilip Tazmanian Master

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    I do not use it because my forum is already made on a mobile oriented script.

    PS : NodeBB offer push notifications through plugin
     
  6. DirtRider

    DirtRider bah humbug

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    1. Fact my forum and server were compromised due to the last security issue
    2. Fact I did have one member leave the forum because I dropped TapaTalk
    3. Fact the other members once they started using the responsive design they loved it.
     
  7. Mopar1973Man

    Mopar1973Man Fan

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    IPB came with skin theme that seem to favored more than the Tapatalk so it was dropped.
     
  8. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

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    There are a lot of benefits to an app. Having it on the users home screen, with PUSH notifications and fast browsing is a plus. A major downside is that Tapatalk only shows part of your content and functions. Browsing on a good responsive style is just as easy as Tapatalk though.
    Its a shame that things are going the way they are with tapatalk.I would have preferred to have an app available. Its a loss to my site, but I cant keep ignoring the dangerous and intrusive changes. It does not seem there is an end to it.

    Indeed. Tapatalk generally does not respond to stringent concerns posted on their forums. Its a waste of time to post there.

    Security is a matter of reliability, trust and capability. The events this year do not give much reason for trust, as they repeatedly fail to inform webmasters about security vulnerability, changes that reduce your control or greatly affect webmasters, members and privacy.
    Tapatalk updates are with bizarre frequency and seem to imply instability.
    TT has access to your database. So you will need to trust the company and its methods to use it. Another issue is that there is always a risk that the company is sold to a community powerhouse similar to how ForumRunner was sold to Internet Brands. If that happens then how secure do you feel about your database access. You can cross that bridge when that happens. Except if Tapatalk already stores a cache of your data.

    The advertising also was a new feature that they just turned on without asking. I have found that Tapatalk still served up advertising to my members even though I opted out of advertising. This caused some unrest and Tapatalk reacted by offering an additional opt-out. This seems to work now. But as advertising seems to be Tapatalk its source of revenue, I would not be surprised if future changes would be aimed at increasing their advertising revenue. So its something to keep an eye on.

    Tapatalk keeps rolling out new features and behaviors that are in the interest of tapatalk with disregard to your independence. It becomes less a matter of offering your website through a browsing app and more a matter of your content on the tapatalk service or even on the tapatalk website. Its moving more towards a loss of control on the webmasters side.
     
  9. Ingenious

    Ingenious Fan

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    Thanks for the responses so far, informative and appreciated :)
     
  10. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

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    In general, services that "piggyback" on other people's work have a hard line to draw, when it comes to avoiding conflicts of interests. As soon as the service takes advantage of the work they are piggybacking on, then they will start to have troubles.

    Scott
     
  11. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

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    has anyone ever considered the possible future security issues with a Chinese company having access to all our user data? I don't mean hacking from outside sources, I mean deliberate intrusions by Chinese Government
     
  12. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    I thought TT was american and only had a second office in China?

    Regarding potential datamining and privacy doubts, the only real way they will be lifted is with an open infrastructure that minimizes collection of data and wherever possible systematically favours the most privacy-safeguarding implementations in native code. Even the most virtuous stewards of popular services difficultly resist the temptation of data collection that can enable a larger number of even more profitable business models, and data theft targets those undiscriminately, perhaps even more viciously since 'being trusted' makes them more likely to have acquired large amounts of data unquestioned, as opposed to organisations folks naturally resist giving any personal information to (making them obvious stewards of extremely little information or analytics of value).
     
  13. ThePun

    ThePun Neophyte

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    Nope - Owned by Chinese Government with most employees in China and a recently added US satellite office.

    No me gusta all my data going over seas.
     
  14. ThePun

    ThePun Neophyte

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    That's why I still do not use it to this day, those companies operate without any accountability or restrictions.
     
  15. DirtRider

    DirtRider bah humbug

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    Glad I got out when I did
     
  16. petertdavis

    petertdavis Not a Beginner

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    Joeychgo I never knew you were a racist, where did that come from?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2014
  17. The Sandman

    The Sandman Administrator

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    Where are you getting racism from? :unsure:
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  18. petertdavis

    petertdavis Not a Beginner

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    By the way, the smartphones you all use to access your sites on mobile, those are made in China too. Is everyone also going to ditch them?

    Just because the guy who made Tapatalk is from Hong Kong doesn't make his product dirty.

    The laptop I'm typing on right now was made in China too, should I be worried?
     
  19. petertdavis

    petertdavis Not a Beginner

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    The bull**** lies are bad enough, but now you have a member of your staff calling into question the quality of a product because of the race of the person who created it, and yes that is racist and way over the line of what I'd consider acceptable discourse. Obviously, Winter Wong is of Chinese heritage. Every single American uses Chinese made products on a daily basis, it's a fact of our lives. Normal people judge the quality of a product based on the product itself, not the race of the person who made it. Some Chinese made products are considered very high quality, like the MacBook that I'm using to type this message, for example. And, I doubt that it's the Chinese government that's monitoring what we post from our Chinese made smartphones and laptops.
     
  20. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

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    Shanghai actually. I have zero problem with him being Chinese. I've actually met him and he seems to be a nice person.

    But, the rumor was he was partnered with the Chinese government at some point. I don't know if its true. But I do have some concerns about Chinese Govt possibly having access to my data and to my websites.

    I don't think its unreasonable to be concerned. But my concern isn't about his race. I think you have blown this way out of proportion.
     
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