Mobile app Piictu has been gaining some attention from the public in recent months. Since the app launched it has been in competition with other networks in the same niche, namely Instagram and even Twitter.
But Piictu has combined iOS mobile and camera functionality with the social networking craze. By using Piictu you have access to an entire community sharing their photos and streams across the globe, and their servers are loaded with tags and categories to sort and search out unique images. It’s practically an extensible mobile network of photographers! Find out more after the break.
Launch the app and you’ll be taken to a signup or login screen. The process is fairly straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Keep in mind the details you provide here are your login credentials for the official website as well.
On the main app home screen you’re given options to view photos based on three prime categories: latest uploads, most popular uploads and uploads from users you’re following. As you develop a profile you can find other Piictu users and follow their account, similar to Twitter. This makes it easy to pick up on new photos whenever available.
You can switch between Piics and Profile on the bottom of the screen to view all the latest photos or your own user account, respectively. On your profile you’ll find tools to edit your account settings and avatar. Additionally the middle camera button will open your phone camera to snap a new photo anywhere, anytime.
Browsing Through Sets
Each collection of photographs you see on the home page are labeled as “sets” or “streams.” These are generally tagged by a theme or category imposed from a few users, and the most popular will catch on to include hundreds of photos.
These sets could feature the nearest object to you, household pets or just sharing a photo of your sneakers. It’s a bizarre system, but it does attract a lot of attention, and it’s a very fun way to meet and share with new people online. Piictu users are mostly browsing from an iOS device, all a part of one single photo community.
Each photo set is also a sliding reel. Simply flick to the left and you’ll move down the list of pictures. To view more details simply press an image, and this will redirect you to the fullscreen shot view. Here you can Like the image and take a peek at the submitter’s profile page. If you want to follow the user, tap the small arrow icon in the bottom-right corner and choose “follow.”
Tapping “Popular” from the tabs above will sort photos from the most popular sets. These can change within the hour as they are often moving quickly with so many users. If you see a set you’d like to contribute to, simply tap on any image. This brings up the fullscreen panning-style view where you can move up and down the submissions. From here, tap the camera icon and your new photo will automatically be included into the chosen set.
Taking a Photo
You are given two options after the camera app finishes loading. You may either select media from your device to upload or take a new photo from your phone. After the shot is taken you’re given a preview window to review and possibly retake the photo.
Above here you’ll find a small area to add comments attached with your photo. This system works similar to Foursquare or Gowalla where you can add a small comment with your post. If you’re following anybody you can select their username from a list and mention them inside the post. You can mention as many people as you feel, although keep yourself from being labeled a spammer by sticking to just a few mentions per photo. Or, if your friends are using the network, send them a quick shoutout.
From what I’ve experienced it is not possible to upload photos directly from the web interface. It may be that Piictu hasn’t built these features yet, which is certainly possible. It would be great to see some more interface features allowed in the future. It is a bit annoying that you can’t update your avatar photo from the web interface, but altogether the mobile upload experience is fantastic and I couldn’t find a thing wrong in the process.
Unfortunately Piictu hasn’t caught on too much with major networking features. They do boast great user profiles which feature all of your uploads in full display. Also included is your avatar and sharing links for Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
To find people and follow them from the mobile app, you have to spend a lot of time browsing sets. These are the most trafficked areas of the app where visitors will be sharing photos and checking out the latest submissions. You can find the user profile link and avatar image above each photo. Simply tap to be taken onto their profile page with stats for their followers, following and number of streams.
Ideally I’d love to see some features related to private messaging or tighter networking controls. It is possible to find people in the network, but there is no global search or database catalog. This could be for security reasons, or the team just hasn’t gotten around to adding these features, but it can be a bit difficult finding good users to follow. Just have some patience and stick to topics you enjoy.
What I do love is the built-in notifications. Inside the app on your profile page you’ll find a small comment bubble in the top right corner. This will spark with a red icon whenever you have new notifications. Maybe somebody new is following you, or mentioned you in a post. Everything is archived so you can look back and see what you’ve missed if you haven’t opened the app in a while. With these social features it only makes sense Piictu developers will be adding more updates in the future.
For true photo lovers, Piictu is a beautiful community. You can overshare photos all day long in some very quirky yet interesting picture streams. The networking system works similar to Twitter with followers and mentions, which adds another level of social dynamics to their overall app interface.
Their community is solid and the app works beautifully. I am a huge fan of their simple user interface which includes custom themed buttons, icons and animations. If you have any thoughts or personal opinions about the Piictu app, share them in the comments!
Upload and share photos online using this new social networking service.8
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