Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
No-one could have predicted the enormous success of Yo, a simple messaging app that sends nothing but the word “Yo” to your friends. Now Mobli, the company it was spun out from, wants to capitalize on that incredible hype with a new app called Mirage, which offers one-tap photo and video-sharing similar to Taptalk and Facebook’s new Slingshot app.
Just like Taptalk, the bottom half of the screen is used to show your favorite contacts. The top half, meanwhile, is a live viewfinder where you can add text or flip between the front and rear-facing cameras. When you want to send a photo, you just scroll through your contacts and tap on their face. To send a video, you tap-and-hold for up to 15 seconds. That’s all there is to it.
Similar to Snapchat, content will quickly self-destruct. To quickly review new messages, there’s also a circular envelope icon at the top of your contacts list.
So far, there are few surprises. Mobli has thrown in some additional benefits though; once you’ve linked your phone number, submitted the SMS code and chosen a username, the app will add your favorite contacts automatically. Most of these likely won’t have the app (just yet), so tapping their display picture will send them to a web version instead. The combination of these two features should mean you always have someone to send messages to, avoiding the “ghost town” problem that often plagues new apps.
Honestly, Taptalk and Mirage feel almost identical. Facebook’s new Slingshot app is a little different – primarily because of its ‘send-to-receive’ mechanic – while Snapchat’s design still distances it from this new breed of ephemeral messaging apps. There’s also the possible arrival of Bolt, a much-speculated app spotted in users’ Instagram feeds last week. If it turns out to be real (and not just a prototype in-app ad) Mirage will have another competitor to contend with.
Can the company where Yo originated from strike gold again? Unlike its previous effort, Mirage isn’t unique, silly or downright bizarre – but Mobli’s notoriety might give it the lift required to be a success anyway.
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