Influencers, advertisers, friends of friends of friends. Social media is a great way to get mundane updates about people you don’t know very well. Unfortunately, in 2020, it was one of the only ways to see into the lives of other human beings, so we scrolled and scrolled.
Amid this uninspiring landscape, one of the most entertaining and meaningful forms of “social” media has been hiding in your own smartphone all along: your camera roll.
You just need the right tools.
Camroll is a project created by former Snapchat employees (and, full disclosure, friends and acquaintances of mine). Camroll, which launched in Apple’s App Store in November, works by connecting to your photos app. There are a few tabs: “On this day,” “Random,” and “Camera Roll.” Like TimeHop and Facebook before it, On This Day shows the photos taken on that day in years past. It showcases the photos in seemingly random order, however, so scrolling feels like hopping back and forth through time.
That randomness, and the Random tab, is strangely what makes the app so entertaining. Click on the right side of the screen and you’ll see a smattering of your own photos, which makes for an un-cumbersome way to explore your camera roll because the app does the surfacing for you in surprising and sometimes funny ways. Basically, it has the interface of a social media app, but the content is your own pics.
It has the interface of a social media app, but the content is your own pics.
You can also easily share photos with friends on the platform of your choice. When you share pics from camroll, it adds a date to photos for context. You can delete images you don’t want to keep, and heart photos you want access easily.
Not only is the experience entertaining, but it also feels semi-productive. The “Camera Roll” tab shows what percentage of your camera roll you’ve seen and how much space you’ve saved. It shows what photos you’ve shared and liked, and options to view either a grid or photo stream of your camera roll.
The creators say that the cues they took from their prior work at Snapchat (where they were among the earliest employees) made them focus on making it fast and fun.
Mission: Accomplished. Camroll has become a go-to app for me when I just want to stare at my phone for a while.
In addition to its social media feel, camroll stands out from other photo organization apps because it does the work of surfacing pictures for you — which can be delightful when an unexpected memory pops up — and because the interface just works.
Other apps let you delete, de-duplicate, and organize. Some even let you share. But the purpose of these apps is organization, not entertainment. Camroll is different.
Another new app, Reel You, centralizes the experience of memorializing and reliving your photos, and sharing them with friends totally outside of other social media. Basically, you create “memories,” which include several photos you select, the date and location of the photos, and the space to write a little something. You can tag other users so that you share photo memories together. It reminds me of the earliest days of Facebook albums, but on a much smaller and more private scale.
“Social media still serves a role to influence, inform and entertain us; but, if you are thinking about it as a way to document your life and all your moments that matter, more personal apps like Reel You are always going to be better at capturing your best/real self as you adapt, change and grow,” Jay Alberts, Reel You’s founder and CEO, told Mashable via email.
Reel You definitely takes some work. (If you love scrapbooking, this app is for you.) But its emphasis on photo organizing for the sake of connecting and experiencing joy — not just for the sake of organization — is what makes it stand out.
Cleaning out the closet
For a long time, the photos app on your iPhone or Android phone was basically just a chronological repository of every photo you’d ever taken on that device; exactly the same as a digital camera. In recent years, Google and Apple have been using machine learning to automatically organize photos more creatively, enable users to curate (and even animate) collections, and allow for easy sharing.
The changes have been somewhat of a necessity. Apple explained to Mashable that in the early days of iPhones, it was pretty easy to scroll back and look at your photos, because there weren’t that many of them. But now that typical users have thousands or even tens of thousands of photos, Apple wanted to make the Photos app less of an endless storage closet from which your memories might never emerge.
The effort started with iOS 10 in 2016, in which Apple introduced the Memories tab. Based on dates, locations, and people, Apple would group photos together, and create short composite videos. Users could also customize the memories and save them to favorites.
In the intervening years, Apple made Memories more robust, adding categories like food and “furry friends,” and more customization options for short videos. More changes came in 2019’s iOS 13, when Apple introduced the “Library” tab. This new tab allowed users to view or easily scan photos by days, months, or years.
The Memories tab transformed into the “For You” tab, which contains those “Memories” (significant events or other groups of photos automatically curated around a theme), and more. Notably, with iOS 14, this now includes the Featured Photos widget. This widget surfaces photos seemingly at random. However, Apple says it selects photos based on what it thinks will be most interesting to you. That includes but is not limited to: whether the people in the photo are looking directly at the camera, whether it indicates it’s from a special event, and if it has a pleasing composition.
The Featured Photos section exists both in the photos app, and as a widget you can choose to view on the home screen.
As with camroll, perusing these featured photos, and the memories, feels like scrolling a social media feed where all of the content comes from you. The thematically curated memories feel similar to Reel You, especially with the customization options. The biggest difference is that machine learning — not delightfully kooky randomness or your personal touch — decides what to surface.
Machine learning — not delightfully kooky randomness or your personal touch — decides what to surface.
Google is also a major player in the photo organization game. That’s part of what made people so devastated when it announced in November that it was taking away its totally free unlimited photo storage option in 2021.
Google Photos has a search tab that lets users search for photos of specific people, places, or things. In 2019, it introduced a Memories function like Apple’s — which it also calls “Memories” — that groups photos around people, places, events, and more. A June redesign also included an “interactive map,” customizable photo annotations and animations, and other dynamic features.
On Tuesday, Google introduced even more. There are additional categories for memories, which group photos around things like sunsets, or activities like baking. It’s adding more collage templates, which add artistic designs and overlays to photos and groups. And it’s adding “Cinematic Photos” which “use machine learning to predict an image’s depth and produce a 3D representation of the scene. Then we animate a virtual camera for a smooth panning effect—just like out of the movies.”
All of these features are subtly challenging what’s been the norm basically since the advent of the Facebook album: That social media is the destination for photo discovery and sharing.
To share an album with friends, we can now bypass the creepy tagging of social networks, and send off animated bursts, or the best of the best from a vacation, within photo apps themselves. Scrolling through photos doesn’t have to mean clicking through ads and boring Stories from acquaintances, or finding yourself in a deep stalk of a stranger. Instead, you can walk into your brightly lit storage closet, and see labeled collections of photos you might have forgotten.
Maybe the most joyful form of social media was inside of us all along.
ที่มา : Mashable