Tiiny shows you a grid of 212×212-pixel photos and looping videos from people you follow. There’s no way to enlarge the images, and they are automatically deleted after 24 hours. The concept of the app is based on the Explore/Hashtag views on Instagram, with the assumption that the smaller size will lead to less pressure when sharing.
The app uses your Twitter login to sign in. It starts following people you follow by default with an option to de-select. The auto-follow feature solved the problem that users of new apps often have of signing up and not seeing any content, but it also made my grid feel cluttered from the outset. My feed is populated with public figures, investors and startup people that I have only a marginal personal connection to, so I already have to go through and cull it.
To make your own post, tap the shutter button to take a photo or hold to record video. The image posts right away, but if you’re not happy with it, you can swipe left over it to delete it. Swiping left over someone else’s post flags it (presumably as inappropriate) and hides it from your feed.
One interesting feature about Tiiny is that the app doesn’t show you at first glance who posted a photo. You can tap-hold on the screen to see who posted the photos on your grid and how many likes each post has gotten. Of course, if the post is a selfie, you’ll know right away who it is, but I like that Tiiny keeps the focus on the content instead of the person who created it.
Beyond the main stream of pics, Tiiny only has two other screens: a list of popular posts and a profile page with your notifications and settings.
Rose revealed in a blog post that the app took three weeks to build with a team of five.
“Maybe it will lead to something larger, or maybe not,” he wrote. “With North our goal is to fail fast, to launch a new project every few months.”
Tiny follows the latest trend of having a minimalist interface. That’s generally a good thing, but I also found it difficult to navigate around the app. If I see someone in my feed that I want to unfollow, I have to tap over to the profile screen, search for the person and then tap unfollow.
I also didn’t see a way to view specific profiles or my own posts. That seems to be an intentional decision in keeping with the concept of the app, but it feels unfinished. For instance, user profiles pull in descriptions from Twitter bios, but they’re almost all cut off by the app’s interface.
Even so, I like how fun and light-hearted Tiiny is – it’s miniature and ephemeral, so I can just post something silly. I’m not convinced just yet that this new type of photo sharing has staying power, but I kind of hope it does.
➤ Tiiny for iPhone