Photovine, a Google project that's been rumored for several weeks, has officially gone live. Once a mystery project, we now know Photovine is a social image-sharing app for smartphones.
The Details of Photovine
Last month I discussed Photovine, but at the time it was pure speculation. We knew that Google had purchased the domain and the trademark, but it made little sense for another cloud-based photo sharing app to be released by the company who already runs Picasa. Now the project makes some sense: It's a photo-sharing app designed for smartphones.
But what differentiates Photovine? Well, that would be the "vines," or tags you add to images that connect you to others who have the same interest. As described by Photovine's FAQ:
A vine is like a constantly growing family of photos connected through a common caption created by you, your friends, and people all over the world.
Some examples of vines could be: “What Weekends Are Made Of”, “Secret Stuffed Animal”, “Party People”, or, “Love of My Life”.
As people add photos to vines, they tell their own stories about the moments, images, and ideas that define our lives in a way that’s social, creative, and fun.
This service looks surprisingly similar to the recent updates to Twitter that allow for browsing and sharing images by hashtag. However, it was noted by Business Insider that the app actually comes from Slide, a Google-owned company. It's unlikely that this is a Google response to the Twitter image search features.
Want to play around with Photovine for yourself? You can request an invite at the official Photovine site.
Photovine and Google+
Given that Google+ had a wide array of social-image features, especially when it came to the mobile platform, the release of this app is a little surprising. A lot of its presence in the world is likely thanks to Photovine being a Slide creation more than a Google one. In fact, Google itself receives little to no mention on Photovine's site and release materials.
That doesn't mean, however, that Google+ won't wrap its fingers around these vines. If Photovine launches as a popular social network in their own right, Google+ will have another outlet through which to connect people and another incentive to pull users away from Twitter and Facebook.