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Digital life: Will this Peach whet everyone's taste buds?

A new app from the founder of Vine is gaining plenty of fans - and fast. But is it a long-term contender or just flavour of the month? Katie Wright finds out more

Published 23/01/2016

Good fun: new app is proving popular, but its future remains uncertain
Good fun: new app is proving popular, but its future remains uncertain

Launching a new product in the already crowded world of social media apps, where Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and many more are constantly battling to outdo each other, is akin to shoving one David in front of a herd of Goliaths.

So when the latest brainchild of Vine founder Dom Hofmann began racking up users at a rate of knots at the beginning of January, the tech world took note.

Called Peach, the iPhone-only app is most similar to Snapchat, encouraging short and sweet updates using text and photos.

Its USP, however, comes from "magic words", denoted by a speech bubble when you type the right letters.

They range from the obvious: type "good morning" or "goodnight" to greet or say farewell; to the amusing: "draw" lets you doodle a picture and "shout" supersizes your words; to the useful: "here" displays your current location and "battery" posts your charge percentage, effectively telling people when you're going to be late or uncontactable.

And once you've made some fruity friends, you can send them all sorts of pictorial salutations, like a piece of cake, a "boop" on the nose, or a catty hiss, each with emojis to match.

Peach, with its focus on the funny and the visual, looks like a more evolved version of Byte, the gif-centric app Hofmann launched last year, and is already proving more successful.

Within a couple of days of launch, Peach had made it into the Top 10 for US social networking apps, peaking at number nine (it scraped into the top 20 for the UK), but has since fallen to number 18, so will need another viral boost if it wants to sail back up the charts.

Reviews have been mixed, with most agreeing that while the platform is fun and easy to use, it's not enticing enough to become the next Vine.

With billions of users wedded to Snapchat et al already, some may be willing to take an initial bite of Peach, but chances are it's not tasty enough to keep them hooked for long.

People trying to avoid a puddle makes splash on the internet

■ Live-streaming app Periscope is often used to broadcast from high-profile events like fashion shows and concerts, but a very mundane phenomenon caught the attention of an enormous audience this month.

In what became known as #DrummondPuddleWatch, a user started filming people trying to cross a huge puddle in Newcastle upon Tyne and attracted a worldwide audience of 547,821.

Initially, the stream documented pedestrians’ amusing attempts to jump or edge round the watery inconvenience, but as the internet cottoned on to the strangely magnetic sight, jokesters arrived with lilos, surfboards and a “slippery when wet” sign.

It turned out the stream was set up by marketing agency Drummond Central, but even they didn’t expect it to explode like it did. You can view a speeded up heat map showing how the puddle spread, as it were, across the globe at tiny.cc/puddlemap.

■ When Donald “Chip” Pugh saw a Facebook post from the Lima Police Department in Ohio asking for the public’s help in locating Pugh, who had missed a court appearance for a drink driving charge, he didn’t think to lie low.

He decided the mugshots the cops used weren’t  flattering enough and sent them a selfie — taken in a car — with a message: “Here is a better photo, that one is horrible.” The fugitive phoned into a local radio station saying he intended to keep on running, but was arrested a week later.

■ Live-streaming app Periscope is often used to broadcast from high-profile events like fashion shows and concerts, but a very mundane phenomenon caught the attention of an enormous audience this month.

In what became known as #DrummondPuddleWatch, a user started filming people trying to cross a huge puddle in Newcastle upon Tyne and attracted a worldwide audience of 547,821.

Initially, the stream documented pedestrians’ amusing attempts to jump or edge round the watery inconvenience, but as the internet cottoned on to the strangely magnetic sight, jokesters arrived with lilos, surfboards and a “slippery when wet” sign.

It turned out the stream was set up by marketing agency Drummond Central, but even they didn’t expect it to explode like it did. You can view a speeded up heat map showing how the puddle spread, as it were, across the globe at tiny.cc/puddlemap.

Belfast Telegraph

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