Science and Tech


Is Photo-Sharing App Tiiny Really A Snapchat Competitor?

Tiiny, a photo-sharing app, is being called a Snapchat competitor. But after testing it ourselves, we'd have to disagree.
Posted at 2:23 PM, Sep 13, 2014

If you haven't started work on a disappearing photo service, you're falling behind! These days just about everyone's getting into the game.

Here we're taking a look at Tiiny, an ephemeral photo sharing app from Digg-founder Kevin Rose.

Several tech outlets have compared Tiiny to popular messaging app Snapchat. But other than both apps featuring disappearing photos, there's really not much to compare. Snapchat is a messaging service. Tiiny, on the other hand, is little more than a place to post a ton of photos without much thought. 

The app takes tiny 212 x 212 pixel photos and videos — hence the name. Why? Rose says "it's not about applying filters or making sure you get the perfect pose, it’s about rapidly blasting out a handful of fun pics and videos." Tiiny is meant to eliminate the anxiety of achieving the perfect selfie. 

The app is fairly simple. Sign up by connecting your Twitter account or through an email address and password. It will recommend a few accounts to follow and then you're all set.

Tiiny's main screen displays the photo and video grid. Long-press on any of the photos to see who took the photo; double tap to like it. Photos and videos disappear after 24 hours. 

Along the bottom you'll find three buttons. The blue button displays popular posts, the black one snaps a photo or captures a video, and the green one displays your account information and settings; you can also search for accounts to follow through this menu. 

The app can capture photos with the front- or back-facing camera; tap the camera icon to switch views. To take a photo, just tap the black button at the bottom of the screen; to take a video, long-press that same button. 

In testing the app, there was one major annoyance: push notifications. Every time someone publishes a post, the app notifies you.

You can, of course, disable notifications, but doing so would mean never being aware of new posts. Tiiny could be improved with more granular controls over notifications, perhaps on a per-user basis. 

Whether we'll ever see any improvements is still up in the air. Rose wrote in a blog post about Tiiny, "this project took us three weeks ... maybe it will lead to something larger, or maybe not."

So Snapchat competitor? Not really. Interesting social experiment? Perhaps. Will I keep using it? Yeah, probably. Something you'd use? Tweet us with your thoughts.