July 20, 2014
The app service that sends you a reminder of your updates of this time last year, 2 years ago, 3 years and so on, is by no means a new app. However their more recent functionality changes have increased downloads and driven engagements, now enabling users to share in line with the social trends that have fuelled its initial popularity.
Basically, Timehop sends users with a daily reminder of moments from their social media past, a digital throwback, if you will. This function is not only quite a novelty item for those of us that seldom remember last week, let alone this time last year but also a gentle reminder of how far you’ve come, moving on, life changes and even the “Oh sh**, did i really post that?” syndrome.
With the renaissance of social media bringing fast discovery and instant connection to our social circles and simply ‘anyone we’ve ever met’ we now have a tracked timeline of our whole online existence and as we share our experiences and become consistent in updating our profiles, maintaining a steady momentum, we can look back at random times and be shown our own ‘mirror’ of the past. Our former selves in all our glory (or utter embarrassment).
The recent peak in popularity of Timehop is largely based on some of the organic trends it has been riding on the back of (mainly Throwback Thursday or #TBT) and some of its more recently updated features. Throwback Thursday is a trend in which people share memories from across the web. Past updates, photos, videos or events. So what Timehop is doing was already an organic internet occurrence and they simply gave participants an app to customise and automate the action. They also have moved from their initial function of emailing users their throwback into a mobile app version (in 2012) and more recently limiting the lifespan of each daily Timehop to 24 hours and implementing a simple sharing function to contribute directly back into the #TBT hashtag. This trend (every Thursday) has directly fuelled Timehop’s climb to a top-50 app store chart position since the beginning of 2014. Far from being the next Snapchat, Timehop does show how a simple trend can equally sustain an app backing and as we see with the success of no-brainer apps like YO audiences aren’t necessarily looking for highly intuitive social media function. Just ways to enjoy content that doesn’t necessarily have to be brand new.