Throwback Is An App That Steals Your Photos And Sends Them To Future You

Joining the dozens or hundreds of photo-sharing apps out there, a new app called Throwback is aiming to put the nostalgia back in photos.

Throwback is an app that lets you take a picture, and send it to yourself or a group of friends at some point in the future. In fact, the app won’t let you even see the picture you’ve taken any sooner than a month. When you receive the picture, you’ll be able to save it to your camera roll or anywhere else for that matter, since it arrives in the form of an attachment to your email.

The idea comes from founder Calli Higgins. In her own words, “it’s out of an exploration between photography and nostalgia.”

“After researching why certain images pang us while others don’t, I realized nostalgia is conjured by revisiting something you haven’t seen in a while,” she told TechCrunch. “ThrowBack is an alternative to the current overexposure of our images and the numbness this can create.”

The app is super simple and straightforward. Once you’ve registered an email address, you are given the option to take a new picture or choose on from your photo album. You then select a date, a general range of time (from six months to five years) or click “Surprise.” The soonest you can receive a picture is one month from the current date.

You can also choose to send it just to yourself, or to a group of friends.

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t integrate with any existing social networks, which seems to be purposeful. The motivation behind the app is to keep these photos “safe” from environments where we tend to blast through hundreds of photos at once, perhaps cherishing them (and the moments they represent) less.

The app is still in its infancy, and may have some interesting features in the works to auto-tweet a photo months later or post a Facebook Timeline photo years in the future, but for now Higgins is keeping mum about it.

[gallery columns="4" ids="781601,781603,781604,781605"]

Just like Facebook opened us up to social networking of all kinds and genres (LinkedIn for professionals, Path for privacy, Twitter for brevity and immediacy, etc.), Instagram has paved the way for photo and media sharing of all shapes and sizes.

Snapchat broke out as an ephemeral “selfie” messaging phenomenon, followed shortly by Facebook’s Poke clone.

Vine, owned by Twitter, seems to be leading a growing pack of gif-creating apps like Viddy, SocialCam and Cinemagraph, as well as OEM-built video/picture sharing apps like HTC’s Zoe and Samsung’s new Cinema Shot mode.

And we can’t forget apps like Albumatic, PhotoSocial, and the long-lost Color that try and aggregate photos based on locations and real-time voyeurism.

What sets these big-name photo-sharing apps apart from a herd of hundreds of Instagram clones is that they do something unique with a photo, and Throwback quite possibly fits that criteria.

The app is available now on iOS for free.