When I first read about Timehop, the concept seemed interesting, but I really wasn't sure I wanted to install yet another social media app on my iPhone. Mike Rose wrote a glowing Friday Favorite about the app, so I grudgingly grabbed Timehop from the App Store. I'm now glad that I did, for a few reasons.
Reason #1: It surprises me
When my daily list of things that I did last year or back in 2008 (a half-year after joining Twitter) pops up daily in Timehop, I'm often surprised. Whether it's an app I barely remember that disappeared in a few months or the first appearance of an app that's gone on to be a classic, it's fascinating to see what I was excited by or was laughing at.
Seeing what the weather was like, what symphony concert I was attending, or what was happening – good or bad – in my life is always a pleasant reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
I've been relying on DayOne for the last year to keep up a running conversation with a future version of myself, but for the four years prior to the appearance of DayOne I'm now relying on Timehop.
Reason #2: It's fodder for posts and podcasts
I'm not talking about this post, but those about Apple anniversaries or apps that I may have overlooked. It's interesting to see references to Stevenotes, speculation about new products like the iPad and every year's crop of iPhones, and how some things – like iWork – don't change. Some of these past tweets and notes serve to jog my memory and stimulate me to write a post or two. In the worst case, at least I have something to talk about on TUAW TV or the Talkcast.
Reason #3: I'm a fan of Abe
Abe is the "timeosaur" character who greets Timehop users daily, grinning and gesturing as you refresh your day in history. Whoever the genius is at Timehop who came up with the character, I thank you. He makes me smile every time I see his goofy grin. It's a gentle reminder that the older I get, the more I appreciate childish things. Oh, and Timehop team? Sell a line of Abe t-shirts, hats, and plushes and you'll make a few billion bucks. You can thank me later for the idea.
If you've been using social networks for a few years and haven't yet installed Timehop, do it now. Your present and future self will thank you.