Over this past week, the Internet, thanks to Twitter, hasn't been able to stop talking about a new social media messaging app called Peach.
Created by Dom Hofmann, the co-founder of Vine, the app provides a "refreshingly fun and simple way to keep up with friends and be yourself." This translates to being a feed where the user can share photos, video, links, status updates of sorts, GIFs and other cool things.
Already a frequent Facebook, Twitter and Instagram user, I wondered what the big deal with Peach is anyway? I feel like the social media space for me is already too crowded. I had used messaging apps like WeChat in the past before, but my attention span for them fizzles quickly. But as tweets continue to pop up about Peach, and it continues to climb on the App Store charts, I felt like I just had to sample it.
And let me tell you, just a small taste of Peach is enough to get a social media addict hooked — or at least enough to interest those who love to text to come back for seconds.
Here's how it works: Download the Byte Inc. free app (which is only available for iOS right now), and you will be given a crash-course tutorial to help you learn the ropes. After selecting your user name and adding a photo, you are ready to start adding content to your feed.
Peach has what is known as "magic words" that allow the user to post content on their streams in different ways. For example, type in "draw" to doodle. Type "gif" followed by related topic words to post animated images.
Other fun magic words that trigger cool features to your home screen include: "weather," which lets your friends know the current weather where you are; "movie" (plus the title) to post that are are currently watching said title; "game," which will do the same as movie; "events," which will show what you have lined up in your calendar for the day; and "song" to share what you are listening to. Friends can tap on the song to open it in Apple Music or Spotify.
Users can also add the artists, TV shows, and books they enjoy — and of course add a GIF to stream right after, if they please.
Once you get the hang of how exactly Peach works, it's actually quite captivating. I found myself wanting to keep adding new streams, playing around with all the different ways I could do so.
After spending some time communicating with just myself, it was time to add friends. Users can either search for friends who are already on the platform by their user name or number, or send a text telling their friends to download the app.
To see what a friend has posted, the user must click on their stream. This makes it different from Facebook or Twitter feeds. There is also no direct-messaging app between users, with every stream publicly available. However, I get the feeling that Peach is a more personal social media messaging app, so chances are you will only be adding your close buddies (even though celebrities are also joining).
There is a cool and not creepy Facebook-like "poke" feature, which allows users to send their friend a wave, nose boop (a personal favorite) or blow a kiss, as well as the ability to "heart" and leave comments on streams.
Ultimately, Peach is pretty much a combination of Twitter and Slack. But unlike apps like Twitter and Instagram, there is no focus on gaining a large following. So, sorry, you won't make it to social media fame using Peach. There is also no use of hashtags, and users can't share streams on other social media apps. Instead, it provides a more interactive way to communicate with friends and express yourself throughout the day.
Even still, the small group of friends I tested it on lost interest pretty quickly. With the buzz already dying down, who knows if Peach will be just the flavor of the week.
Peach can also be a bit buggy at times, such as slowly loading GIFs or not displaying GIFs at all. However, the app's creators are working on new ways to organize the friend list, adding direct messaging, Android support and more.
we're working on Android pic.twitter.com/nqbl42kcJd
— Peach (@peachdotcool) January 13, 2016
Peach just rolled out an update on Wednesday that allows for animated shouts where the user can add extra frames, the ability to save media to your Camera Roll, and other bug and crash fixes.
Peach is available to download for free for iOS.