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Like other social networks, you’re identified by an avatar and username, and you can post status updates, photos, links, and location to the app. There is no news feed on Peach; the home timeline only shows you a preview of your friends’ latest post, and you have to tap on their profile to see more.
What makes Peach unique is the set of “magic words,” or words that automatically populate content within the composition box on the app. They include “GIF,” which lets you search for a GIF within the app; “song,” which will identify a song that’s playing by using your iPhone’s mic; and you can doodle with “draw.” There are 20 magic words in total, and you can find them here.
To like a post, tap the heart beneath it. You can comment on posts by tapping on them. There’s also a feature that reminds me of Poking someone on Facebook—scroll down to the bottom of your friend’s timeline and you’ll see a command to send an emoji.
The app is a bit like work chat app Slack in that word commands automatically pre-populate content to post. But the app requests fairly comprehensive access to your data in order to use them. For instance, you have to give Peach permission to access your motion and fitness activity in order to use the “move” magic word, and location permissions to share “here.”
It’s only available on iOS for now, though Peach says a version for Android is coming soon.
To our crazy cool Android friends, iOS is but Phase 1. We’re cooking up an Android version, launching very soon. Stay tuned!
— Peach (@peachdotcool) January 9, 2016
Because Peach has no real-time feed, it feels a bit like I’m talking to myself whenever I share anything. I am sure most of my “friends” on the app have many others, so they’re probably not going to see most of my content.
The most engagement I’ve had so far on the app is from friends sending me emoji notifications, which you can do quickly by replying to them in your notifications tab. The pointless notifications evoke memories of Yo, the simple notifications app that also gained widespread popularity briefly on Twitter before mostly disappearing.
Peach’s virality on Friday, fueled by popular media and tech users on Twitter, reminds me of social media platform Ello, the minimalistic social network that tried to compete with already established apps. Ello became wildly popular very briefly before it turned into a punchline for failed social startups.
It’s much too early to say whether Peach is yet another flash-in-the-pan social app that will have a brief moment in the sun before going the way of Ello and Yo and Path or even Secret. Although Peach is similar to many other social apps, its features are unique enough to keep us mildly interested, at least for now.
Photo via jacksonsorchard/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.