Kevin Rose’s grand ambitions have manifested in a small way—as intended.
The app allows users to share little photos and videos (“almost pointlessly tiny,” according to Venturebeat) in a grid—but with a twist: the photos are granted but 24 hours of life before they flicker out.
Over at Medium, Rose wrote about why he and co-founder Marc Hemeon chose to make the photos impermanent.
“When you have a small disposable photo you relax a little. All of a sudden it’s not about applying filters or making sure you get the perfect pose, it’s about rapidly blasting out a handful of fun pics and videos instantaneously.”
Hemeon made his own contribution to Medium, giving a thoroughly detailed account of Tiiny’s conception and development in just three weeks. It’s so thorough an account that he includes sketches he and Rose passed back and forth before greenlighting the project, and even a list of the tools used to build the app, which, by the way, saw 16 iterations before its release.
Rose, who came to prominence through his many internet ventures (including a current turn as partner at Google Ventures), did the media rounds earlier this week, and while speaking to Techcrunch made it clear that the app is first and foremost an investigation into outstanding questions he has about human nature and the nature of North.
It’s “a two-fold experiment in minimalism, both in how we interact with each other — less choice, less friction, less megapixels — and how we build products at North — how could we build a product quickly?” he said.
One point of interest for Rose was in seeing whether the size of the photo encouraged users to take more of them.
“If you made photos tiny and kept them tiny so they can’t be enlarged, would it reduce the anxiety around taking a photo and get people to take more photos?” he asked Techcrunch aloud.
As for the design, Rose told Techcrunch the grid layout was in response to Instagram’s lackluster scrolling experience.
“With one big picture after one big picture, going down 10 or 20 pictures takes a lot of time.”
Whether the idea takes off or not is of little concern to Rose, it seems. He says he’s more interested in getting as many of these projects in development as possible.
“I don’t have to have an exact business plan, but I can explore the more crazy parts of my head,” he said, referring to the fact that his former business ventures have left him flush with cash with which to fund his every whim and fancy.