Google's social Photovine pops up on iTunes

Web giant beefs up its social-networking offerings, launching a new photo-sharing application for the iPhone.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
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).
Jay Greene
2 min read

Continuing its march into social networking, Google launched its Photovine picture-sharing service on iTunes this morning.

Google's Photovine iPhone application. Google; screenshot by Jay Greene/CNET

The service, which debuted as an invitation-only application last month, lets users snap photos and share them with friends much the way they'd blurt out tweets on Twitter. With Photovine, though, photographers group pictures thematically, with one person taking a snap of, say, their desk and sharing it under the theme of "cluttered desks." Other Photovine users, then, can add pictures of their work spaces. In the parlance of the new application, that's a vine.

Vines can be mundane, like the "cluttered desk" example, or personal, like "girls night out." Among the most popular vines today are "cutest dog" with the requisite adorable puppy pics, and "Things I Love About Summer" with shots of a cold glass of beer and another of kites flying over a beach, among others.

Anyone can see photos you post, either by browsing the vine in which the photo was included or by browsing your profile. People following you, though, will receive the snaps automatically in their feed. In Photovine, no approval is needed to browse or follow another person.

The service is entirely iPhone-based, with both pictures and vine titles composed on the device. Users can share photos and vines on Facebook and Twitter. Oddly, there is no integration yet with Google's own social-networking service, Google+. And Photovine only exists on iTunes now, and not for devices running Google's Android mobile operating system.

That's probably because it wasn't developed by home-grown talent, but rather the team from Slide, the social-media company Google acquired a year ago.