I wanted to introduce you to our first experiment at North Technologies: an app that’s launching today called Tiiny. Tiiny is quick way to share little (212x212) photos and videos with friends. But why? At first glance the idea of tiny pictures (that you can’t enlarge) sounds ridiculous. The world doesn’t need yet another photo sharing app. Even if it did, why tiny photos?
Let me explain.
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. Sharing those little moments in your life that get lost. Those moments that are silly, fleeting, imperfect. Those snippets of life that represent our unguarded, most expressive selves.
In testing, our beta users share 5x more posts than they do on other photo sharing apps. And that, for us, is worth exploring further.
The long/short road to launch
The idea for Tiiny came about last year when I was browsing through posts on Instagram’s tag screen. The grid of images allowed me to consume quite a bit more content than a traditional ‘large picture’ stream. The quick consumption nature of that page got me thinking: what if the entire app were small pictures that couldn’t be enlarged? Would it reduce the anxiety when taking a picture or video, eliminating the “how do l look?” issues with larger photos? Are more megapixels actually a good thing?
Tiiny, for us, is a two-fold experiment in minimalism: both in the way we interact with each other (less choice, less friction, less megapixels) and in how we build product at North. This project took us three weeks with an amazing team, Marc Hemeon my co-founder and head of design, Sam Soffes heading up development, and some help from friends Caleb Davenport and Aaron Gotwalt.
We hope you’ll join us on Tiiny and share a photo or two. It’s fun and simple, just three main screens — we said no to features a lot more than we said yes. Maybe it will lead to something larger, or maybe not. With North our goal is to fail fast, to launch a new project every few months. This is one of many to come.