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How to use Peach, a surprisingly addictive and confusing new social network

Caitlin McGarry | Jan. 18, 2016
This iOS app isn't another Facebook clone, which makes it worth a look.

One of my favorite magic words is “shout,” which lets you add giant text over a plain background or a photo from your camera roll.

peach shout
Make graphics instead of crafting a 140-character thought.

Other magic words include: “goodmorning,” “goodnight,” “safari” (which just opens your Safari browser, so not that useful), “dice,” “date,” “movie,” “tv,” and “game.” Peach is going to add more magic words in future updates.

If you don’t know where to start, tap the lightbulb to the left of the text box. Peach will pop up prompts to answer, like “What’s the best thing about winter?” (my suggested answer: “Nothing, what is wrong with you”), or “A picture of yourself as a baby,” which is a perfect #TBT prompt.

Let’s get visual

Magic words give your posts a little extra oomph, and Peach has a few camera tricks to do the same for your photos and videos. First, choose between your front-facing and rear-facing cameras, then you can either shoot a straightforward photo or video, or you can make things a little more interesting.

peach emojis
I plan to throw cake at Susie Ochs daily.

When you tap the infinity symbol to the far left of the camera button, Peach transforms into something like Instagram’s Boomerang by shooting a 4-second video that then endlessly loops back and forth. Tapping the square grid to the right of the infinity icon lets you shoot four photos and create a collage, with a handy 3-second timer that flashes to let you know when Peach is about to snap the next photo. This feature is tailor-made for selfies.

It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s more lightweight than video apps, which require effort and something of interest happening around you, and it’s more public than a messaging app (but not that public—Peach lacks web profiles and none of your posts are searchable). There’s even something akin to Facebook’s poke feature, but instead of poking your friends, you can wave at them, boop them on the nose, or throw cake at them. Yes, it’s silly, but so many social networks take themselves too seriously with manifestos and lofty goals. Peach is fun.

It’s hard to tell which social apps will stick around (Snapchat and Periscope) and which will lose steam as quickly as they burst on to the scene (Ello and Meerkat). Peach is currently No. 108 in the free section of the App Store, behind LinkedIn (No. 104) but ahead of Periscope (No. 118). It’s not a smash hit yet, but it injects some freshness into the stale social networking landscape.


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