Tree Rings and the Timehop App

If you haven’t downloaded the new Timehop app, stop reading and go do that right now.

I’ve been fortunate to have had the app on my homescreen for a while now. It’s been a treat to watch it evolve from something raw and clunky to the beautiful piece of software it is today. I’ve always loved my emails, but the app unlocks new dimensions of the past and offers new ways to interact that just weren’t possible in my inbox. Now, I don’t just get last year, but I get all of the years of my data I’ve created in my camera roll (new!) and txt messages as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram and (finally!) Flickr.

When we invested in Timehop, it was our shared belief that we’re in a transitionary period where our lives were moving from analog to digital. And that, over time and ever so slowly, we would would find ourselves living and sharing more of our lives online 

As I’ve used the app, I can’t help but have my mind drawn to the image of tree rings that mark the age of a tree and tend to get larger as a tree grows. Today my Timehop had a single txt message I sent to my wife 5 years ago. It then had another txt thread and 3 pictures from my phone’s camera roll from 4 years ago. 3 years ago had multiple txt threads, foursquare checkins and more images from the camera roll.

Each year brought more content online. Each year another digital tree ring was added larger than the last. And just as each tree ring reveals the climactic conditions a real tree experiences throughout its life, so these digital rings reveal the experiences and interactions of our past that are shaping who we are today.

We knew when we invested that the sharing and social interactions of the past would take on a decidedly different flavor than those of the realtime streams we swim in now. I think this app is getting us closer to understanding and defining what those look like. And as a user, I absolutely love where they’re pointing.

So congrats to team Timehop on shipping this fantastic app. I am learning so much more about myself and the people sharing their past with me on it.