Anniversary For iPhone Offers A Moment Of Nostalgia In The Age Of Disposable Photos

An app called Anniversary offers a new twist on remembering the past via your photo and video memories. Instead of posting to a social network like Facebook, Anniversary lets you share your content with a friend on some future date of your choosing. The idea is to surprise your friends with old photos, instead of just nostalgically reviewing them on your own.

Thanks to smartphones, we have an overabundance of digital photos that are created, enjoyed momentarily, then often never viewed again. For those companies who see this new trend of “living in the moment” as a pain point to solve, the very same smartphones that caused the problem are also seen as a tool to pave the way to a solution. Case in point: mobile diary HeyDay from ex-Zynga engineers, or digital time capsule Timehop, which just raised another $10 million.

Create ScreenAnniversary, a bootstrapped startup from New York, is nowhere near as polished as its well-heeled competitors.

There are early stage bugs – like it opens to the beginning of your Camera Roll, instead of your most recent photos. (It also crashed a couple of places too, but I’ll chalk that up to the iOS 8 beta).

The app is a bit different from Timehop and HeyDay, however, which both aggregate more than just photos and videos, to also include things like check-ins and tweets, which are sometimes not as interesting to rediscover.

The idea for Anniversary comes from University of Delaware grads, Benjamin Klein and Kenny Wallach, who first started work on the app as part of a business competition at school. They won, receiving some startup capital and resources that allowed them to work on the app full-time after graduation.

But Anniversary itself was built by Soft Facade, a development and design firm in NYC which has done work for Path and Uber, as neither co-founder codes.

Like the others in this space, Anniversary is designed for those whose random photos are actually worth a second glance, of course. (When Anthony Ha reviewed HeyDay, for example, he sadly proclaimed the app made him realize his life was actually kind of boring.)

Group ChatAnniversary could face a few barriers to adoption: for starters, when memories are treated as disposable by apps like Snapchat and ephemeral messaging clients, what will anyone choose to become truly memorable? In addition, some of the best “anniversaries” are those you remember well after the fact, like a first date, for example. Will there be photos of that? When does it become okay to send them? After you’re happily married?

As Klein describes it, the idea for Anniversary sounds more like a Snapchat with delayed gratification.

“Imagine you’re out with your friends at a bar and something hilarious happens – one of your friends decides to sing karaoke. You video it with Anniversary and set it for the next morning, day, week, or month,” he explains. “It would be awesome receiving that picture and being able to chat about it, privately, with your friends. We want people to use the app for those types of moments, along with the meaningful ones, like birthday parties, someone’s first concert or first time doing something, or actual anniversaries,” Klein adds.

You can only share one photo or video at a time in Anniversary, either captured live, selected from your Camera Roll or photo album, or pulled in from Facebook. When your friend later receives that photo or video it’s delivered as a virtual present they tap to unwrap. The friends can then enter a private chat together to relive the shared moment.

You can invite friends to join you if they’re not already on Anniversary. Afterwards, they’ll be listed as contacts you can tag in future photos.

Anniversary is a free download on iTunes.