Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Photovine Goes Public!

Google has officially entered itself into the iOS photo sharing race.  That's right.  Google.  The company that owns the mobile operating system called Android that's going head-to-head against iOS in the mobile phone universe. An app called Photovine is out of beta and now available to the general public.  Interestingly, the app is NOT available for the Android OS.  Only for iOS (for now).

So, that means Photovine is not trying to compete against multiplatform apps like picplz or even Flickr.  Google is looking straight at Instagram.

Both Photovine and Instagram are apps that appear only on iOS.  There isn't even a way to upload to either social network via a web browser (as far as I know).  When Instagram first appeared in October of 2010, I thought it might have a small, but loyal, following.  I always felt that having it only on one platform, iOS, would limit its growth.  7 million users and 150,000,000 photos later, I was proven wrong.  Instagram is simple.  It's a photo sharing social network that allows you to post a square photo with several filters to choose from.  People can "like" your photo and comment on it.

Photovine, on the other hand, is very different.  Any user can start up a "vine," which is basically a theme.  People add photos to the vine and the community watches it grow.  Photovine, as of this writing, does not feature filters.  But it has similar features to Instagram, such as the "likes," comments, and a listing of the popular photos or vines.

I've been using Photovine for almost a month and it's very much like using an app like Piictu.  I initially didn't want to get into Piictu because I didn't want to feel constrained by the themes that were already in play.  I just like to shoot interesting photos and post it.  However, the Photovine community was very creative and I think it spurred some creative juices in me to try to add photos to vines.  I also conveniently used some of the same photos from Instagram since followers in the two social networks were, for the most part, different people.

I think there's definitely room for both of these apps to succeed.  Well, Instagram is already being lauded as a monumental success.  Photovine?  We'll wait and see.

UPDATE:  A little more than a week after the iOS was made available to the public, the head of Slide (the division of Google making Photovine) decided to leave Google and the Slide division is slated to be dissolved.  Personally, I don't see investing more time in Photovine which is most likely at its end.  Sorry, Photoviners.

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