Build a communal masterpiece with Pixplit
Pixplit is a new mobile-social photography application for iOS from Pixplit Technologies. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store with no additional in-app purchases.
Pixplit’s self-stated aim, according to its App Store page, is to be a “social Instagram.” Leaving aside the fact that Instagram is already rather social at its core, Pixplit’s actual core concept is a very interesting one that has potential to be a great deal of fun for creative types. Essentially, it takes the idea of collage-style images, which can be created by a single user with a variety of different apps, and makes the creation of the finished work a collaborative experience.
Beginning by selecting a frame style — images can be divided into two, three or four parts in several different arrangements each — users may then take a photograph to put into one of the sections of the collage. At this point, the user has the option to apply an automatic, non-customizable Instagram-style filter, set the “frame” for the collage to be thick or thin, and then upload the partial image. Optionally, the user may add a title to the image, share it via Facebook, Twitter and/or email, and categorize it with a selection of suggested tags. Once the upload process is finished, the image is then posted publicly on the user’s profile, and the remaining parts of the image are opened up to other Pixplit members.
Joining others’ collages is a matter of either browsing through the work of users that you have followed, or exploring the “Playground” part of the app for partially-completed images. Tapping on an empty segment of a partial image opens up the camera interface and allows the user to immediately take a new image to add into the partial collage. It’s also possible to add images from the device’s photo library instead of taking a new picture with the camera. For the most part, this worked fine, but on a couple of images an error message popped up informing me that I needed to update the app in the App Store — despite having just downloaded the latest version.
Besides browsing followers’ submissions, users can also look at two feeds of featured content that are made up of completed collages. The Popular feed consists of images which have received a lot of likes and/or comments, while the Featured section is a curated feed of images split into categories through the use of tags. It seems the intention is to use the Featured component of the app to encourage the community to engage and interact with one another, with suggested themes for images acting as a starting point for creativity. It’s a good idea, and the app’s community already seems to be taking to it well.
Pixplit is a fun app to use, and it’s also beautifully designed, too. The interface is simple and intuitive, and the visual design is both distinctive and attractive, giving the app a clear identity all of its own rather than relying on iOS interface conventions. Functionality is good, too, with Facebook connectivity allowing users to find and invite friends easily, and a search function allowing users to look for a specific friend if they know their username.
Ultimately, Pixplit isn’t an especially useful app, but it is a great means of getting people who don’t necessarily know each other to work together on quick, impromptu creative photography projects. There are already some very interesting, striking collages on display from the community, and so long as the app continues to work well it seems set to enjoy a lively community keen to express themselves through the visual medium. In the long term, Pixplit will need to consider how the service will monetize, as there are no in-app purchases or ads at this time, but for now it’s a good experience for users, and a great showcase of the developer’s talent in building a solid, beautifully-designed app.
You can follow Pixplit’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.