Google unveils new photo-sharing social network

Although the search giant isn't talking about the service, Photovine looks as though it will ultimately enable users to upload photos to followers from their mobile phones.

Photovine's current home page Screenshot by Jay Greene/CNET

Google has begun rolling out a new social-networking photo service, dubbed Photovine.

Though Google has said little publicly about Photovine, the service appears to be one in which consumers can take snaps from their phones and have them upload in a stream of pictures in the same way that tweets flow into Twitter. Presumably, if you subscribe to someone else's Photovine, you'll see their latest photos almost as soon as they shoot them.

The service, though, isn't yet live. There's only the opportunity to request an invitation on Photovine's Web site, with no indication of when the service will launch.

Business Insider was the first to notice that photovine.com went live. In addition to requesting an invitation, potential customers can also watch a video of how Google envisions the service working.

Google has offered few details about the service and said little in response to a query.

"Photovine is a photo-sharing service built by a few folks at Slide," the company said in a statement, referring to the social-media company it acquired in August. "It's a fun way to learn more about your friends, meet new people and share your world with others."

Photovine comes just as Google is ramping up its Google+ social-networking service. But it's unclear if the two services will be aligned.

The video Google posted features folks taking photos with iPhones, which clearly suggests that Photovine will be an iPhone app. The app is available in iTunes, and Google says it's "working hard" on a version for customers using phones that run its Android mobile operating system.

Updated at 4:32 p.m. PT: Added Google comment.

Updated at 10:35 a.m. PT on July 14: Added that the app is now available on iTunes and Google comment regarding Android version.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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