Google launches Photovine

by Andrew Moir

Since Google registered the Photovine URL there has been plenty of speculation regarding the nature of the venture. As Google already owns cloud based photo sharing site Picasa it was believed that this would be something more innovative. Today it was revealed that Photovine is a social photo sharing tool for smartphones.

Launched with the tagline “plant a photo, watch it grow” the unique selling point of this venture is the social tags or “vines”. Essentially it allows users to tag a photograph in terms of a theme and then others can add to this theme creating a diverse album. It is hoped this will allow users with similar interests to interact. The intentions were clearly stated on the now-removed FAQ on the launch site as observed by Search Engine Watch.

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.

Photovine was launched without a press release or official blog and without Google branding. The official site is simple featuring just an introductory video an invitation to sign up and a mock-up of the app on the iPhone. It is currently not available on any app store. It is thought lucky applicants will be invited to test the project before a wider rollout takes place.

The app has been developed by the Google-owned social game developer Slide and currently appears to be an independent project. With Google’s constant diversification in the digital domain there are clearly possibilities for wider social networking.

Google recently launched its own social network in Google+. It can be assumed that if Photovine is a success it would be integrated into the main site diversifying Google+ further from Facebook. The social aspect could be easily managed by the friend segregation facility Circles. This would allow users to follow their favourite photographers without sharing personal details.

The teaser trailer, embedded below, features an obligatory cute animal, a slightly too perfect couple and a comedy fat man demonstrating just how diverse a single vine can be. However it is expected lovers of cute animals will be amongst the most prolific users of the new tool.

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