Build a social photo story with WeHeartPics

WeHeartPics is a social photo-sharing app from Deep Sea Marketing. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store in iPhone-only format.

WeHeartPics’ focus is on “storytelling” with pictures. While it is possible to simply post pictures to the service in an attempt to invite comments and likes from friends and strangers alike, the app encourages its users to categorize their images in broad groups ranging from “About Me” to photos of their hometown, and within each category there is a selection of more specific “stories” to file each photo under — About Me contains items such as “My Appearance,” “My Hobby” and “Beautiful Things I Have,” for example.

There is an element of gamification to the app, too — in the “explore” tab, where it’s possible to browse either friends’ or public submissions to all the different categories, users are informed how many of these “stories” within each group they have completed, and a selection of daily stories invite users to take photographs based around particular themes — at the time of writing, these daily challenges included “symmetry,” “street art,” “kiss me” and numerous others.

The actual photography part of the app is relatively solid, offering a wide selection of image filters with which to tweak the image and a crop facility — though the interface for the latter is rather inaccurate. There is also no “tilt-shift” option to selectively focus on parts of the image, which may disappoint those who have become accustomed to this facility in Instagram. Users may selectively post the images they take on Pinterest and Twitter, and photos are automatically posted silently to Facebook if the user has connected their account or used it to sign up with WeHeartPics in the first place.

A big draw of WeHeartPics is the attractive user interface, though conventions it establishes in certain parts of the app do not appear to be consistently applied across the entire experience. For example, when viewing the basic “timeline” view, users are able to use physics-based “flicking” to shuffle through stacks of photos users they follow have posted in a short period of time, but elsewhere in the app standard multitouch scrolling is used. Deep Sea is seemingly very proud of this physics engine, highlighting it as the major addition to the app’s version 1.2, but in practice it is a little irritating since it means it’s much to easy to end up flinging photos around the screen when all you want to do is scroll down the timeline. In this sense, the fact that the app behaves more conventionally elsewhere is actually a welcome feature rather than something to be criticized.

Deep Sea appears to have a clear roadmap for where WeHeartPics is going in the feature. Impending updates promise both people and location tagging as well as, apparently, something which justifies the presence of the physics engine, which is little more than a gimmick at present. It may also behoove Deep Sea to consider additional monetization possibilities for the app, too — perhaps the in-app purchase of additional filters or camera features — as at present it’s difficult to see how WeHeartPics will make any money in the long term beyond funding from investors.

The app as it stands is a fun addition to any photography enthusiast’s homescreen, and good inspiration for those who enjoy snapping pics based around particular themes. The social network connectivity is solid, too, though it would have been nice to have been informed that the app was going to silently post every picture taken to Facebook rather than being left to discover it!

WeHeartPics is not currently featured in any App Store leaderboard at the time of writing. Follow its progress over time with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.

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