If you're not scanning Facebook, declining invites to play Hidden Chronicles and other "magical" social games, you might find yourself messing around on Doodle.ly. This visual social network is organized around the simple act of doodling, helping users share at times childish, at other times quite serious, drawings. Like finger painting, doodles on Doodle.ly can take on any form. And if you'd rather not commit to drawing something and engaging in a social game with your Facebook friends, Doodle.ly is an interesting, less commitment-focused alternative. It is available online and as an app for the iPad.

Doodle.ly has already topped 30,000 users. The main audience comprises women 18-24, followed by men of the same age. The third biggest userbase on Doodle.ly is young girls ages 13-17 years of age.

What is it about Doodle.ly that attracts users? Pierre Graf, a user based in Lyon, France, describes his Doodle.ly experience as similar to "sailing on the sea, you have the absolution liberty of your destination and what you're going to accomplish." For a glass screen and mild finger-focused interaction, doodlers are able to accomplish quite a bit. Here's a drawing by Mr. Graf, in fact. 

Social Games Be Gone: Doodle.ly Is For Loners

Doodle.ly users range from the more serious artist types to casual users who are already using Draw Something, which continues to lose users. Doodle.ly describes itself as "Draw Something meets Instagram." It does not connect to Facebook in the way that Draw Something does, and it also isn't focused around competition. Doodle.ly is like the casual cousin of the super social Draw Something. While there are plenty of competitions hosted by Doodle.ly for outside entitites, these contests are not focused on beating your friends, or even incorporating your friends into the mix. On Doodle.ly, you can practice with ease, and then share those doodles out to Facebook and Twitter, if you so desire. The social sketchpad nature of Doodle.ly makes it perfect for those who just want to practice, quietly, online or on their iPads. 

Contests on Doodle.ly are social, but not social networked. In a contest for the NHL team the New Jersey Devils, Doodle.ly users were asked to draw a play-off themed doodle. Winners would see their doodles come to life on rally towel drawings. This week's contest focuses around doodling a summer sun. It seems like a pretty easy task, but try it yourself - doodling takes time and energy. 


Winners must practice often, and stay true to their doodle.ly visions. Users, start your fingers!