What a surprise! Another new social media application scrapes the surface. Hashtag life or #Life, as it is on the actual mobile application, is a combination between Snapchat and Yik Yak where users can post anonymous photos; however, they are categorized by the hashtag that you use.
You might have seen a strange man walking around campus Monday asking people to take “selfies” on his cell phone. Actually, it is not as weird as it sounds, because he was promoting the app to UT students. I noticed him walking table to table and thought it was super creepy until he came to mine. He was promoting #Life which he said was already very active on the University of South Florida’s campus. I thought the app was pretty cool at first, like every new app is, but too similar to other social media apps… like I really need another app on my phone anyway.
#Life lets you take an anonymous photo, unless you choose to reveal your face, and post them while allowing you to create five unique hashtags to match it. By using hashtags, photos get separated into different groups on a home screen page such as #UT, #USF or even #duckface. You can imagine that some of the hashtags are pretty ridiculous. Each photo you click shows the views each photo has and then you can click up, like Yik Yak, but not down. The photos are supposed to disappear after a certain amount of time, but my photo is still there days later so that’s cool I guess…or creepy.
I’m sure the app will grow in popularity as all new apps do when everyone initially starts using them, especially when your friends use it. Even if you do not like the app, you will probably use it for a while or at least look at it when you are bored in class until the next new app is created. Just like every app ever created, some people will hate it and some will love it.
It turns out, the #Life promotor actually did teach me one useful tidbit of information: the ability to send immediate and mass advertisements for cool events going on here at UT. When being involved on campus, this could be useful tool. Imagine yourself tabling in Vaughn Lobby and no one is stopping by your table. Maybe, just maybe, if you took a photo and put it on the app with the right hashtags, people might see it and stop by. This could be a useful feature but other than that, the app isn’t anything too special.
#Life allows people to see even more inappropriate photos that people can take without the process of selecting who you want to send the photo to. If your friend takes an embarrassing photo of you, too bad, because now anyone who has the app can see it. At least with Snapchat you can pick and choose who you send your photos to and if you feel like sharing them with multiple people, you have the option to add the photo to your story. #Life opens new doors as the photos you post are both public, and permanent until your photo gets deleted. Lastly, If you decide to use the app please keep the nudes to a minimum for everyone’s sake.
Katie Drake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org