Locket, an app for sharing photos to friends’ homescreens, hits the top of the App Store – TechCrunch

New social app, pendant, Has risen to the top of the App Store in recent days thanks to its smart premise of putting live photos from friends in a widget on your iOS home screen. In other words, it turns Apple’s widget system – commonly used to display information like news, weather, inspirational quotes or photos from your iPhone’s gallery – into a private social networking platform.

The idea for the app was dreamed up by Matt Moss, a former winner of a student scholarship from Apple’s World Developer Conference and a master’s degree at UC Santa Barbara University, who built a user research and testing platform called Hawkeye Laboratories.

Loket, he admits, was originally a personal side project – not his main focus.

“I built this as a gift for my girlfriend for her birthday last summer,” Moss explains. “She went back to school in the fall, so we were going to start a long-distance relationship,” he says. “The process of getting a small picture of her on my home screen … seems really appealing. Just a nice way to keep in touch.”

The developer built the app for a week or two and ended up using it with his girlfriend quite extensively over the past six months, sending each other an average of five photos a day. Because Collect also stores the photos sent and received in part of its history, the app has become a fun way to look back at their photos, as well.

Soon, the couple’s friends began to pay attention and asked if they could use it with their significant others, family or friends. So Moss decided to make Locket available to the public in the App Store.

The app was launched on New Year’s Day, and has now seen more than 2 million users sign up since this morning. On Sunday, Lokcet became the No. 1 app overall in the U.S. App Store, according to Of apathy App Store data, and became the No. 1 social networking app the day before. Apptopia reports that so far it has seen only about a million global installations, with about 31% from the US – but its data until yesterday.

Moss attributes Locket’s rapid adoption to being viral on TikTok, where he posted videos Associate account For Locket where he can show off the app in action. His video garnered about 100,000 views in just a few days. Other TikTok users then started creating their own content that included the app and The custom sound used In the original compilation video.

@locketcamera Link in bio # Pendant Widget # 2021 # 2022 ♬ Original sound – pendant

This has helped blow up the app even more among TikTok’s younger user base. In fact, one video created by a TikTok user in the UK reached 5 million views in one day, Moss noted.

Although it is common for app developers to leverage TikTok to drive installations at launch, Moss denies that any kind of influential paid marketing has occurred here, nor has it run paid advertisements on TikTok or elsewhere, he says.

Today, Locket remains at the top of the iPhone’s top free apps table as a result of the unveiling of its TikTok – and because its early efforts invited their friends to download and test the app, which led to further installations.

To start using the app, download Locket from the App Store and sign up by verifying your phone number.

Locket then asks for access to your iPhone’s contacts and camera to function. Ideally, Locket would allow users to bypass full access to the address book to instead allow users to invite friends through standalone invitations, as this would be a more privacy-focused approach. Moss tells us that he is considering changing this aspect of app behavior, designed to make it easier to use the app. However, he says that Locket does not store your contact information nor does it send his invitations automatically using his phone number – he just pops up the iMessage window so you can customize the text sent to your friends.

However, if you choose to reject Apple’s popup, which asks for permission to withdraw your contacts, you can not use the app at all, we found.

After inviting and adding friends to join you in Locket, you’ll then add the app’s widget to your iOS home screen. The widget will display your friends’ photos as they add photos during the day. You can also launch the app at any time to add your own photos to your friends’ widgets.

Photo credit: pendant

There is not much more in the app than this, really. There are no fancy camera filters or effects, nor can you upload photos from your camera roll. The experience is meant to be a way to share real-time photos with a small group of up to five friends or loved ones.

Locket’s quick shot to the top of the App Store made Moss now think about his next steps. He plans to later introduce a subscription model and support for additional widgets, and at some point, an Android version. Whether he will take on external investments, however, remains to be seen.

“We’re definitely thinking about things,” he says. “seen.”

But the creator believes there is potential in blocking beyond the current widget experience of its images – perhaps even increasing a set of features within the app as users share more images over time.

“I think there’s something pretty significant to being built in the space of close friends and family,” Moss says. “I do think people – especially younger people – are a little tired of apps that are kind of very focused and very umbrella.”

“You find these huge social circles in the app – where you have 1,000 Instagram friends, or you have to send snapshots back and forth with your 100 closest friends – which actually requires a lot of effort at the end of the day,” he continues. “So the idea of ​​creating something more geared towards the five closest people, or the 10 closest people, and then providing a way to make your phone feel more personal and geared towards people instead of these apps – I think there’s a real appetite for that,” Moss adds.

Locket is not the first to offer a collaborative photo widget experience. Another app called Magnets, Launched in 2020, There was a similar idea But also supported sending short text messages to friends through his widget. Other apps that compete in this area include Ekko, Widgetgram, Lettie, Tile Widget, Fave and others. However, no one has yet achieved some kind of critical mass.

A pendant is currently underway Free download on iOS But it only got a 3.4 star rating, because some users did not understand how to make the widget work, or they are struggling in the implementation process. The latter seemed to occur mostly at the height of its viral wave when the app Encountered some issues, But since then we have tested Locket and found that the issues are resolved.


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