With Hanukkah candles already flickering, and Christmas trees decorated around the world, Piictu would like to wish you a very Happy Holidays! May your evenings be merry, your family reasonable, and your friends entertaining!
But if things get dodgy over the new few weeks, fear not. The latest Piictu release features “Special Holiday Integration” designed to help you “Escape tedious family or office scenarios with our creative winter wonderland :)”
Seriously. It says so on the App Store.
For sweet-tooth/culinary architects, there’s a gingerbread house challenge. For festive electrical people, there’s an entire stream of Christmas light displays. And of course, we’ve got great collections of Christmas trees and wreaths. Piictu people are decking the halls.
We’ve also got a great stream of menorahs around the world, that has been growing since the Festival of Lights began on December 20th.
Piictu is going global. With the release of our holiday update, language localization is now available in Spanish and German. This means that users whose phones are set to those languages will find Piictu app text rendered in the tongue of Goethe or Cervantes for the very first time.
For the linguists at Piictu HQ, Spanish and German are just the beginning. We hope to offer localization in several other languages over the next few months. After all, Piictu’s downloads come from around the globe!
And while we do confess that there might be an odd phrase or misspelling in the localizations (we’re only human!), we’re thrilled to begin making the app more natural for more users.
If you haven’t got your holiday gifts in order, now is the time. Order deadlines are fast approaching.
To help you out, the Piictu brain trust has collected two days of Gift ideas for the iPhoneographer in your life. Today, we conclude our suggestions with a bunch of fun accessories for anyone interested in photography.
We had a great stream about laptop stickers a few weeks ago. But a few people chimed in complaining that they didn’t have any stickets on their machines. So grab a Camera Dial Decal ($18). It will have your comp looking like an oversized control knob from a Canon or Nikon SLR.
The coffee mug that looks like an SLR lens ($24/$30) has been hip for a while now. But why not be more social with a Shot Glass set ($18)? It gives new meaning to the shutterbug phrase ‘taking a shot’ (ooooh!).
It’s decided old school, but reports suggest that books are still cool. Why not help a friend learn from the masters of the craft with 50 Photographers You Should Know ($14). It will take you from Muybridge to the 21st century with crisp writing and, of course, wonderful images. The Art of iPhoneography ($13) is a little out-of-date, but still offers step-by-step workflows that will show a less experienced iPhoneographer how to get started.
Feeling peckish? Why not make some photo-friendly cookies with these colorful camera cutters ($18)? You can enjoy them while relaxing on new lens pillows ($59) and propping your feet up on this awesome oversized camera (€168). Yeah that last one is a bit expensive, but it’s from Barcelona so you know it’s cool.
Relaxed by the fire with all your gifts ordered? Great. Now’s the time to make a Leica out of paper. (£3).
That concludes our Holiday Gift Guide for 2011. We hope you’ve found some stuff worth sharing with friends. Do remember to tip your friends off to Piictu as well. We know it’s a gift that keeps giving.
It’s that time of the year when you try to give people stuff they will use, enjoy, and not return or re-gift. Fortunately, the Piictu staff has some hot suggestions for the iPhoneographer in your life. Trust us, this is
kind of our job.
Yesterday, we started our Gift Guide with a look at some rocking apps. Today, we’ll be considering that instantly upgrade your iPhone.
Don’t be a fool. Wrap your tool in a hard-knock case, so whatever you do, you iPhone stays safe. Lifeproof cases ($79.99) are built to Military Specifictions (whoa.) and will work up to 2 meters underwater. Custom cases from Zazzle ($34.95) let you add a message and/or personal image. Probably good for inside jokes. Finally The OWLE rig ($169.95) will make your iPhone look and operate like a Hollywood production lens. Good luck Spielberg.
Annoyed by the limits of the standard iPhone lens? Get in close with a macro lens band ($15) or go wideangle/starbusty with a three-way jelly lens set ($15). Feeling more adventurous? Why not get a Kogeto lens ($79) that captures your entire surroundings. They even have special software for making interactive panoramaic videos.
We don’t really see the need for an iPhone SLR lens mount ($249) but maybe you do. Just let us know what it’s like taking a phone call with your 300m zoom strapped on.
Deck the halls and start a stream about it. It’s the season of crowded shopping malls, raucous office parties, and family feuds partly involving indoor evergreens.
But don’t get stressed. Team Piictu is here to help in this busy season of joy. Let us tap our collective knowledge to offer you the ultimate guide to gifts for the iPhoneographer in your life.
It’s clear that you should start with Piictu. But of course you already have that downloaded. Good on you.
Have you got SnapSeed? It’s a bit expensive at $4.99, but it’s well worth it. The app will create deliciously fatigued and desaturated images, while also offering rich filters and textures.
What about those times when a complete view is more powerful than any single shot? Try PhotoSynth, one of the greatest things Microsoft has made in years. It will create panoramas so detailed you’ll find hidden details in captured images months later.
Need to add some text to your images? LabelBox ($0.99) creates little snippets of texts on ribbons superimposed to your iPhone photos. But Phoster ($1.99) is the far more elegant text tool, allowing you to craft stunning posters from your camera roll.
The Piictu Gift Guide for iPhoneographers will continue tomorrow. Stay tuned!
With today’s rocking Piictu update, users can now sort streams by likes or friends. It’s a whole new way to look at piics, offering easy access to things that will wow you and make you smile.
Of course, streams will still default to chronological viewing with the most recent images right at the top of streams. To switch the filter, tap the ‘bar graph’ icon in any stream, and then tap the filter of your choice. The stream will reload with sorted as specified.
As of Thursday, the great month of #Movember has come and gone. But the traces of this hairy pseudo-month are all over Piictu. One user (above) challenged the community to like his photo with every like equating to a dollar towards the men’s charity.
Others patiently let their peach fuzz become lip shadows and then, perhaps, something like real mustaches. Piictu’s own Zack took up the challenge from the Piictu community and managed a feeble goatee-mustache combo.
Those unable or unwilling to actually grow a mustache played with the idea of it nonetheless. We were rather partial to this young lady’s mustache pint glass. The best of Piictu #Movember will live on in glory, even as the razors and shaving cream come out for the Holiday season.
The annual Day of the Turkey is almost upon us, but around Piictu there are a bunch of people still working hard. Others have pushed off for Thanksgiving destinations around the country and the world. Estimates suggest that over 42 million Americans travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving.
For those bored on the road, in planes, buses, or trains, here’s a little Piictu entertainment tip: Make a HandTurkey. They are both festive and simple. Channel your inner 6 year-old self.
For those hosting and cooking, a convenient stream of Thanksgiving Supplies has cropped up with more than a few succulent dishes from Piictu family menus.
Here at Piictu HQ, the holiday spirit has us excited to launch a Thanksgiving contest. In “Stuffed or Stuffing” we challenge the community to show us their turkeys, their silly stuffing gags, and their stuffed faces after the good bird has come and gone.
All this reminds us exactly what we’re thankful for here at Piictu HQ…
Where would we be without the awesome people who share great photos and start fun streams?
To support the creative mission of the night, Rachel Sklar penned a wonderful rewrite of P!nk’s “Raise your Glass.” It was called “Raise your Cache” and we think it offers a succinct, playful version of what life in the New York Tech scene looks like.
How do we know? Well, we’re in it. Twice. Look for a Piictu dance line at 1:03 and again at 2:42.
Now to back to work.
This afternoon, #OccupyWallStreet passed by Piictu HQ setting off a lively hour of protest chants, police sirens, and very serious looking riot police. Good thing we got lunch a bit early.
They were marching towards Union Square as part of the “November 17th Day of Action,” and judging from the crowds streaming past our front doors, they succeeded.
Inspired, we added some piics to the “Occupy Wall Street #n17” stream from the scenes of politics on our doorstep. They’re well worth a look.
Deep in the Piictu labs, our elite team of pixel craftsmen have been busy shaping revolutionary additions to the app. Today, after weeks of tinkering and testing, we unveil their work to the world.
Introducing Piictu 1.2, Update Now!
So what kind of awesome changes can you expect? Many.
1. INCREDIBLE new Activity tab
Tracks your total number of likes, replies to your streams, and followers all from a single location. Tapping thumbnails now brings you directly to the image liked or replied. Stream additions are previewed on the spot. Distinct texture break shows you what’s new since your last visit.
2. SWEET new Stream and Reply functions
When you share an image, there’s a new image preview screen to make sure that piic looks just right. You can also hold over the obscured image while you finalize the title and add friends to confirm how good it looks.
3. EASILY add photos to existing streams
Making a new stream but not sure if it someone has already started a similar one? Now Piictu automatically searches for relevant streams in real-time so you can build on an existing stream. Tap on the blue arrow to see what kind of photos are already in those streams.
4. QUICKLY Mention friends
Friends are now alphabetically sorted to make finding someone quick and easy. You can also pull in friends not on Piictu yet from your Address Book. So go ahead… be friendly.
but wait, there’s MORE
That’s just the big stuff. There’s a host of wonderful fixes, animations, and clever tweaks that have found their way into Piictu 1.2.
Go ahead a like a piic on the new app. Yeah… pretty sweet right?
With our headquarters in New York City, it’s easy to think of Piictu as an American-oriented product. But that’s wrong in at least two directions. First, our development team is currently scattered across three continents and second, our downloads have been wonderfully international.
In fact, over the last month of downloads Italy has racked nearly 14% of the global downloads, topping the US by a full 5%.
Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden round out the top five collecting 20% of global downloads between the three.
The top 10 pulls in Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Turkey, and India.
It’s a big weekend for people who like costumes, candy, and mischief. HALLOWEEN: It comes but once a year.
With the scent of fall in the air (even a chance of snow at Piictu HQ ?!) it’s time for Big Piictu Costume Contest.
How big you ask? There are three categories of competition:
And awesome Orange UrbanEars Headphones for the top three images in each contest.
We’ve already seen some great costumes out in the Piictu community, but we hope this weekend brings out the very best. What’s your costume look like?
There’s never a shortage of fashionable people on Piictu. Decked out for a night on the town, or just modeling their hoodies, Piictu users are always sharing their sense of style.
So three weeks ago, inspired by the community, we decided to initiate “#FashiionTuesday.” We invite one fashion-forward member of the community to develop a fashion stream or challenge, and we promote it to the top of Piictu popular for the day.
In week one, peacelovemusic4u invited users share their go-to heels. In week two,handyhollie wanted to see Piictu’s favorite band t-shirts. Last week, bpak challenged Piictu to make a “bold fashion statement.” Just yesterday, svea asked Piictu to bundle up for fall and Piictu roundly replied.
The excitement around #FashiionTuesday has been so high, Tuesday is quickly becoming our favorite day of the week. We always thought Piictu drew a fashionable crowd, but now we’re sure.
:: Jon presenting Piictu from Courtbean on Flickr (cc 2.0)
Yesterday, Piictu co-founder Jon Slimak lit up the stage as he presented Piictu. The five minute exhibition ran through Piictu’s origin, growth, and future potential as a part of TechStars “Demo Day” - the dramatic, pitch-or-die conclusion to the intensive start-up incubator.
Jon’s presentation featured some startling admissions: even his mom knows what planking is, and razors can be used to take some really clever photos. But the heart of pitch lay in celebrating the way Piictu has made users interact. Staying true to the app and its powerful creativity, all of the images and examples were taken directly from the Piictu platform.
Perhaps inspired directly by Piictu, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg followed Jon on the TechStars stage. His message: New York is quickly becoming one of the world’s most vibrant tech hubs. As if we didn’t know that already. Has he downloaded Piictu yet?
P.S. The best of Demo Day has been captured, appropriately, in a Piictu stream. Take a look.
We should fill this under something that makes you happy, because the team at Piictu HQ have been all smiles about this awesome image.
This kind of creativity keeps us in continual awe of Piictu users. It also begs an important question: can this pumpkin be beat? Perhaps it’s just about time for a Piictu jack-o-lantern contest.
What do you give to the man who draws everyone?
Pens. And lots of them.
Andrew Mitchell has been drawing his followers from across his social media profiles for the past few weeks. He manages to capture the identity inherent to avatar images while adding his own distinctive style. In a sense, Andrew interprets the avatar image to make it personal again. It becomes a gift between himself and his followers.
:: @bella from @andrewtmitchell
It hasn’t been easy. As of October 3rd, Andrew has sketched over 200 of his followers. It’s been taking a solid chunk of his time, and utterly exhausted his collection of ballpoint pens. In fact, Andrew has found himself occasionally returning to his Iceland home with new ballpoint ‘friends’ from the local bank.
When we discovered this at Piictu HQ, we hurriedly mailed off a set of fresh Piictu pens. They had only recently arrived at Piictu, but we could think of no better recipient than the man whose portraits were causing an explosion of activity from Piictu users.
:: @baylie from @andrewtmitchell
For several days, we waited to hear something from Andrew confirming the emergency shipment of art supplies. But there was only e-mail silence. Then last Tuesday Andrew told us that the pens had arrived, but had been seized by the oppressive Icelandic customs authority. He waited out their demands for a $50 fee, and was able to collect the pens a few days later.
:: Fresh supplies! Here we go from andrewtmitchell
Andrew’s project captured our imagination at Piictu, prompting us to add new features on his suggestion. When Andrew messaged us about his need for full-screen avatar images, we added it into our very next update. It was the least we could do to accommodate his creative project.
:: @adenis from @andrewmitchell
There are over 200 images of Andrew’s followers to date. The artist insists he’ll do 700 more and that’s no formal limit. His dad thinks he’s crazy and that he’s given himself “ a job for life. And one that doesn’t pay.”
But he’s undeterred. He gets a boost of energy whenever he hears someone is happy with the result. On a flight from Iceland to London, Andrew finished 40 drawings on the plastic tray table. A passing hostess nudged him as he finished a drawing.
“Lovely,” she said.
He kept drawing.
Popular streams are Piictu’s daily Academy Awards. They elevate a set of photos to the highest pantheon of praise, making them champion examples of photo interactivity.
But with hundreds of streams started everyday, how do you make a stream that stands out? In an effort to de-mystify Piictu popular, we’ve reached out to some of our more successful users and learned some pointers on creating stunning Piictu streams.
Piictu all-star sh0e_wh0re has had several popular streams on Piictu including “jumping” and “how are u spending ur day.” She tells us “the best streams are the simple ones. The ones anyone can relate to and that it’s not gonna take us out of our way to contribute too as we all lead fairly busy lives.”
TylerDiane is another popular stream fiend whose “Half your face” and “stalker that I <3” streams were some of Piictu’s users favorites. She suggests that users” try to do something creative and not used yet.” “You need to know what the community likes” she continues, adding that streams where “you can take a picture with your friends, self, boyfriend/girlfriend, mom etc” are easy to engage and can spawn many piics from the same user.
The only advice Piictu HQ would add is to make sure you put more than one image in a stream. Posting three or four really gives people an idea of what you’re hoping to see. Then remember to revisit the stream and like others’ additions. Everyone likes a little love, and with some luck, your lovely stream will be Popular before you know it.