Photo-Sharing App LiveShare Adds News Feed, Local Groups

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Cooliris’ photo-sharing app LiveShare is all-new today, with two major additions: a Facebook-like News Feed and enhanced geolocation features that let you share photos with others in your same vicinity. The latter feature, seemingly reminiscent of the failed location-based photo-sharing app from Color, is different in that it doesn’t just work on mobile – it works in a Web browser, too.

For those unfamiliar with LiveShare (not surprising, given the crowded photo-sharing space), it’s trying differentiate itself by being an app you can choose to use, but that doesn’t require everyone else in your network to use in order to be effective. It’s a photo-sharing tool, in other words, but doesn’t necessarily have to be your photo-sharing social network.

This, frankly, has been one of LiveShare’s best qualities. There are far too many apps that require a “network effect” to function properly. It’s a breath of fresh air to find one where that’s just an added bonus.

When you post photos in LiveShare, to either a public or private group, you can share those pics out via email or SMS or cross-post them to Facebook and Twitter.

It also offers dynamically generated suggestions of folks to add to a group’s list during its creation, including those who you only share with over email or text messaging, for example. Coming soon, if a friend replies via SMS or email, that message will be added to the LiveShare group, too, making it a one-stop shop for everything that’s going on with your photos.

Today’s addition of the News Feed inches LiveShare back into “photo social networking” territory, however, bringing the focus back to the in-app groups. Like Facebook’s News Feed, you can comment on the posts and those comments are syndicated back to Facebook. Unfortunately, LiveShare says that comments on Facebook won’t be synced back to the in-app group. There’s a reason for this (they claim it would be “too confusing”), but from my perspective, it feels like a mistake. After all, in every other capacity, LiveShare is helping to centralize the photo-sharing experience.

The other new feature, location-based public groups, lets anyone contribute to a photo collection, and works especially well for real-time events, like parties, weddings, or nights out on the town. For those who don’t have the app, they can email in photos to a main address instead or post online. Photos are then available for later viewing both in the app and on the Web.

The new LiveShare app goes live on both Android and iPhone today, at 10 AM EST.