Ever wish you could share your pictures with, say, an eighth of your Facebook friends without having to defriend the rest? Well, now you can (and you don’t have to do it through Facebook, either). Mobile app Cluster offers its users the ability to create groups of specific people with whom they want to share their photos. The company’s motto, “Private spaces for you and your friends,” is reminiscent of Snapchat’s objective, but the photos last longer than your fingertip can keep hold them up on the screen. In other words, Cluster appeals to a more mature set–its users are unlikely to want to show their wax-gone-wrong, even if it’s just for nine seconds. The app, which was placed in both the Apple Store’s “Best New Apps” and Google Play’s “Best Apps of 2013″ categories, makes its aims clear on its website. Users are encouraged to create different groups for different sorts of photos:
Send a picture of your newborn nephew to your cousin across the country in your “Family” group.
Save your Spring break selfies for the sorority girls in your “Kappa Kappa Gamma” group, even if you followed these rules for the best selfies ever.
And publish your obsessive dog pics for the pet lovers who actually care. No offense or anything…
Cluster is appealing because it allows you to personalize your audience in an organized and private format. We no longer have to share our most recent vacation pics with our most random Facebook friends. It’s ok, we all have them. I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in the fact that neither the camp counselor I had seven years ago nor the ex I’ve been meaning to defriend (“I swear I just haven’t gotten around to it yet…”) will know what hotel I stayed at in San Fran last month thanks to the pictures I upload online.
In the age of incessant photo-sharing, though, some question whether Cluster holds potential for widespread usage. Is it any different from Instagram Direct? Shutterfly? Vine?
Side note: it’s free.