This App May Be The Definition Of Oversharing

Photo: Courtesy Math Camp, Inc.
Between Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, we've never really stopped to think Hm, if only we could share even more photos. But a new app that just launched today, Shorts, is a way to do just that. And apparently, early users are loving it. Rather than following people's thoughts and daily achievements, as on Twitter or Facebook, or a curated look into their beautiful lives (Instagram), Shorts gives a raw and unfiltered look straight into friends' camera rolls. As you snap, you can choose which photos you want to share publicly, and which you don't. According to the app's press materials, people share roughy half of all the photos, videos, and screenshots they take on Shorts. They also end up taking two to three times as many photos as they did before joining the app, and then share those images more often over the course of the day. The app itself is incredibly simple. You join, creating a username and uploading a profile photo, then add your phone number as verification so you can start looking for friends. From there, it only gave me the option to invite friends from my contacts list — and apparently no one was already on the app (although I find that surprising). You can also search for friends by username. Each time you open the app, it opens with the last photo you shot. The app also has a Discover feature, where you can find other users in your vicinity with interesting camera rolls to follow. The first time I opened the app, this was populated with a bunch of dudes. Now it's a more diverse group of mostly dudes. The photos shared on Shorts are as diverse as you'd expect them to be. There are photos of pets, food, Champagne, bikini-clad ladies, mountains, beaches, and selfies (of course). Some people have gone through and only uploaded beautiful images, as they would on Instagram. But for many others, the images are blurry, unedited, and silly. Similar to Tinder, as you're perusing someone's camera roll, you can swipe the image up to Like it, or down to dismiss it. Looking at strangers' images feels very voyeuristic — borderline creepy. Luckily, I've come across nothing too personal or inappropriate, yet, at least. But the way the app opens, it seems like it would be very easy to accidentally share something you didn't mean to (luckily you can always "unshare" something you've posted). And also like Tinder, there is something oddly addictive and satisfying about swiping through someone's photos on Shorts. Then, however, you think I'm swiping down on someone's life. And you feel a little bit weird.

More from Tech

R29 Original Series