There's been a fair amount of news on the Photovine front recently -- none of it particularly flattering for Google, or its now shuttered Slide branch. But users of the mobile app-based photo service can now continue sharing their pics using Piictu -- a slightly different, yet remarkably similar service that launched well before its Google counterpart. What initially began as a fun side project for co-founder Jon Slimak, Piictu has apparently gained quite a following, prompting its creators to add some polish to the service and push it out of beta. We're not quite sure what to expect for its future, but Google's involvement with its Piictu competitor appears to have helped the original service gain some traction, despite its indy status. Jump past the break for the announcement from Piictu, or hit up our source link to download the iOS app.
Show full PR text
Piictu - officially out of beta!

"a fun and simple way to talk and play with piics"

New York City, NY – September 15, 2011 – After a spectacular two months of beta testing, Piictu is ready for its official launch. Piictu is a new kind of visual network where every interaction happens though the exchange of a piic. As an app, piictu is a powerful and simple way to engage and connect with people, friends and places all around the world through direct "picture conversations".

Piictu explores a change in the way pictures are being used and consumed online. Call it "a shift from memory to interaction." As Jonathan Slimak, one of the founders, says: "In Piictu, your photos are more about a conversation medium than a keeper of memory. We call them ʻobjects of interaction.ʼ Your phone becomes your eyes for short, live, picture interactions."
The basic premise in the app is you upload a picture, give it a caption, and start getting picture responses, forming a "picture stream". Streams can be in the form of a sequential game, a meme like "planking", or a simple question like "what are you drinking?" The "number game," for instance, is about finding the next number in the sequence. One person takes a picture of a license plate with the number 1, the next person takes a picture of a two dollar bill, and so on.

TechStars NYC

Piictu is one of the hottest NYC startups this summer. It was 1 of only 12 companies accepted to the TechStars accelerator program in NYC. Over 1000 companies apply, making it one of the most prestigious and competitive programs of its kind. Thanks to TechStars, Piictu has been working with an incredible group of mentors to help them jump-start their operations, including people with highly relevant experience like Jon Steinberg from Buzzfeed.

Fluid, short, changing

Piictu is designed and modeled after core behavioral social dynamics, in the same way any "social conversation" is organized around fluid, changing subjects where each individual adds their perspective. Users organize streams around emerging and changing subjects, leading the conversation with merely an initial picture and a simple caption. Picture conversations develop and evolve through direct human interaction, giving creativity a primary role in the experience.

Where the idea originated

The idea came about while Jon Slimak was watching the World Series from home. Many of his friends were posting pictures of themselves wearing their favorite teamʼs jersey to their MMS group. He noticed that most of these pictures were never going to be seen again, yet still had great value in the context of the conversation they created. This led him two to the identification of a new trend in photo sharing; pictures as a medium for a conversation.
Another photo sharing app?

Piictu is more about "photo interaction" than "photo sharing". "It's not another photo sharing app," cofounder Jonathan Slimak tells us. "Instagram does that perfectly". Piictu
uses pictures as a primary form of communication. In this light, Piictu is the first "photo interaction" app of its kind.

Piictu is free and open to everyone

Piictu is currently available via the Apple App store and will soon be available for Android. It follows the belief that the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. As such, it is completely free to download and use. All content on Piictu, is the sole responsibility of the person who originated it. Piictu relies on real-life social etiquette and accountability for all our community standards.

More about piictu

Piictu is a visual network that challenges our notions of community, social exchange and communication via interactions though pictures. It is being built in NYC by a passionate and inquisitive team of 7 designers, engineers and entrepreneurs with proven track record. To learn more about Piictu visit http://www.piictu.com