‘Anti-Social’ Photo App Challenges What Social Media Should Be

Minutiaecoins itself as the “anti-social” social app. It challenges conventional design by restricting users to just one minute of usage per day and anonymizes shares in an attempt to encourage users to “embrace the boring and mundane.” Four years ago, the “Anti-Social” photo project “Minutiae” was released through the Apple App Store. Since then, it […]

‘Anti-Social’ Photo App Challenges What Social Media Should Be

Minutiaecoins itself as the “anti-social” social app. It challenges conventional design by restricting users to just one minute of usage per day and anonymizes shares in an attempt to encourage users to “embrace the boring and mundane.”

Four years ago, the “Anti-Social” photo project “Minutiae” was released through the Apple App Store. Since then, it has amassed a modest 25,000 downloads, which may not seem like a lot but is still impressive given the original art project’s budget was just $10,000 and featured no outside investment.

The concept of the app further adds to that impressive statistic.

Minutiae encourages its users to shirk overly complicated, scripted, planned “influencer” images that have come to dominate the social media landscape through a unique design. The app will randomly send subscribers an alarm to remind them to record whatever happens to be around them at that particular moment, and they are encouraged to do so regardless of how “boring” that might be.

The randomized alarm is sent to every user at the same time (regardless of time zone), meaning most of the photos on the app are captured around the world at that same moment. Once the participants have taken their photos, they are then allotted just sixty seconds to browse their own chronological timeline or that of a random stranger they have been matched with. Once the minute is up, the app shuts down and users have to wait until the next random alarm to be able to use the app again.

The anti-social app keeps everything anonymous with the focus on the “moment” in time. It is so dedicated to this cause that users cannot “follow” or subscribe to another user’s feed. As strange as this sounds, the founders have said that this process is itself is a work of art.

“Our thesis is not that social media is ‘bad,’ just that it ends up making us look at the world, and documenting our experiences, in a very particular way,” the founders said when the application originally launched. “Through our use of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., we are in the continuous process (often unconsciously) of refining filters that determine how we capture our lives… Minutiae frees us from this pressure to perform since you no longer have the option to choose what you are documenting—connections are singular and random.”

The company says it further “frees” its user base by the one-minute per day restriction of use which is a wildly different business model from the mainstream market. The app is meant to capture unscripted, uncurated, unfiltered moments in everyday life.

“Moments we don’t fully value until they’re gone,” says co-creator Martin Adolfsson.

Some users have reported using the app as a creative stimulus during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, since they were often stuck in the very same space for so long, thus keeping them quite motivated to capture something new.

Since the application only lets you use it for a minute a day, to “complete” a full cycle on the app takes 1,440 days of use (just about four years). Therefore, at the time of publication around 40 percent of the original subscribers are finishing their first cycle. According to the company, this retention rate is “a level that most tech companies could only dream about.”

As users finish their cycle, Minutiae provides them with a way to view the evolution of their life over the last few years. While many (if not most) of the photos appear boring, they will inevitably hold a lot of personal value to the creator and that is what the project and app are all about.

Once the cycle is complete, users can get a complete download of their photo archive that they can also print in a limited edition book. According to the company website, they are limiting these books to just 100 people, and apparently, there are not many left.

The Minutiae app is available for $14.99 on the Apple App Store.

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NASA’s Juno Captures Close-Up Photos of Jupiter’s Moon, Ganymede

NASA has shared the first two images from Juno’s June 7th, 2021 flyby of Ganymede that shows dark and bright terrain and long structural features possibly linked to tectonic faults on the surface of Jupiter’s giant moon. The images captured by Jupiter orbiter’s JunoCam imager and its Stellar Reference Unit star camera have captured images […]

NASA’s Juno Captures Close-Up Photos of Jupiter’s Moon, Ganymede

NASA has shared the first two images from Juno’s June 7th, 2021 flyby of Ganymede that shows dark and bright terrain and long structural features possibly linked to tectonic faults on the surface of Jupiter’s giant moon.

The images captured by Jupiter orbiter’s JunoCam imager and its Stellar Reference Unit star camera have captured images from “closer than any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation” says Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton. “We are going to take our time before we draw any scientific conclusions, but until then we can simply marvel at this celestial wonder.”

Using its green filter, the JunoCam visible-light imager was able to capture nearly all of the entire side of the giant moon. Soon, the red and green filtered images will be available to the research team at which point they will be able to provide a color portrait of the water-ice-encrusted Ganymede.

Dark side of Ganymede captured by Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit

In addition to the huge detailed image of the full side of the moon, the Stellar Reference Unit (a navigation camera that keeps the spacecraft on course) was able to capture a black and white image of the dark side of Ganymede using light reflected off of Jupiter.

“The conditions in which we collected the dark side image of Ganymede were ideal for a low-light camera like our Stellar Reference Unit,” said Heidi Becker, Juno’s radiation monitoring lead at JPL. “So this is a different part of the surface than seen by JunoCam in direct sunlight. It will be fun to see what the two teams can piece together.”

NASA hopes that this encounter with the moon will provide insights into its composition, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and ice shell while providing measurements on the radiation levels that will help future missions to the Jovian system.

With three giant blades stretching out some 66 feet (20 meters) from its cylindrical, six-sided body, NASA describes the Juno spacecraft as a dynamic engineering marvel, which spins to keep itself stable as it makes oval-shaped orbits around Jupiter.

The spacecraft will be sending more images from it’s flyby over the next few days with the RAW images being made available to the public here. The spacecraft’s path can also be followed here.


Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

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