Who Needs Instagram? View Nearby Twitter Images With Vizible [iOS]
Vizible is a brand new iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. What makes it special for me, is that its made by the same developers as Twizgrid, which to this day remains one of my favorite iOS apps of all times. If you’re curious, I’d recommend reading my previous post about Twizgrid , but in a nutshell, Twizgrid is a visual Twitter client which makes the recent quarrel between Twitter and Instagram seem insignificant. It lets you browse Twitter users, hashtags, locations, and keywords, and presents beautiful image grids of photos that have been uploaded to Twitter.
Vizible [No Longer Available] is the new, younger sibling to Twizgrid, and it actually doesn’t do much that Twizgrid can’t do. If, however, you’re not interested in all the features Twizgrid has to offer, and only care about finding Twitter pictures around your current location, Vizible can be loads of fun. With Vizible, you can instantly see every photo that’s been uploaded to Twitter around your current location, get a feel for new places, or see what people are doing around you.
Vizible, like Twizgrid, is completely free. If you like images, Twitter, and gorgeous apps, this one is for you.
Vizible As An Image Browser
Before you can start using Vizible at all, you’ll have to connect it to your Twitter account. Vizible connects to accounts already configured on your iOS device, and lets you choose which one you want to connect the app to (if you have more than one).
That’s pretty much all the set up you’re going to have to do. Once that’s done, Vizible will ask for permission to use your current location, and you’ll be on your way. Unlike Twizgrid, you can’t choose any location you’d like – Vizible is only about things happening around you, and will only show pictures that have been taken or uploaded nearby.
Naturally, the results depend on where you live, but on my first time with Vizible, all I managed to get was this disappointing screen:
This did not change no matter what I did, and I was just about to give up on the app, when I remembered something I encountered on Twizgrid. I recalled that the older sibling asked for Safe Search to be turned off in order to conduct certain location-based searches, and while Vizible made no such request, I went ahead and disabled it from the settings.
Upon hitting the refresh button, the magic finally happened, and Vizible showed me what was happening around me. I was still surprised to note, however, that the results I was getting through Vizible were very different from the ones I was getting using the “Around me” setting on Twizgrid. According to one of the co-founders, this is due to more image hosting services being included on Vizible, and increased control over radius.
Below you can see Vizible’s results on the left and Twizgrid’s results on the right. To start, Vizible kept presenting the same images over and over again, probably because many people retweeted them. There was no such issue on Twizgrid. In addition, the images presented by Twizgrid seemed much more relevant, although most of the images presented by both apps seemed to indeed be local ones. The app’s developers assure me that the duplicate photo issue is being taken care of, and you may not encounter it if you try the app right now.
If you want to control the results somewhat, you can change the radius Vizible is looking at. Tap the location button, and use the slider to set your preferred radius. The options are limited to 1, 2, 5, 10 or 25 miles. This is different from Twizgrid, which does not let you control the radius in the “Around me” search option, but is much more flexible when setting a location manually, lets you set a radius of up to 500 miles, and also supports kilometers.
You can browse the results through the grid view, or tap an image to switch to single-image view. Each image comes with all its accompanying Twitter information, and includes reply, retweet, and favorite options, as well as a timestamp for the tweet. Additional options such as quoting, copying or copying tweet link are also available. You can tap on a user to view their Twitter profile and a list of recent tweets, and can even follow and unfollow users through the app.
It’s nice to note that Vizible never exposes the exact location a picture was taken in. You know the image is from somewhere nearby, but you’re not invading anyone’s privacy, and it’s easier to protect your own.
Vizible As A (Limited) Twitter Client
Unlike Twizgrid, Vizible cannot replace your regular Twitter client – it’s only meant as a casual image browser. Nevertheless, it does include some handy Twitter features which you can use to post images or just plain tweets to Twitter.
As mentioned above, you can use the app to reply to, retweet or quote other tweets, but you can also compose new tweets from scratch by tapping the compose button. From here, you can tweet an image by taking it using your device or by choosing one from your photo album, or tweet a regular text tweet.
The compose option comes with some pretty useful features, but is missing some others. For example, when you start typing a username, Vizible will automatically load a list of users you follow which makes it easy to find the one you’re trying to mention. On the other hand, the app doesn’t come with a link shortener, so links are truncated according to the tweet’s length. You can also add your location to the tweet, which will make it pop up for other Vizible users.
So how does Vizible fare compared to Twizgrid? For most users, I still recommend getting Twizgrid. It’s an awesome app, and comes packed with fun and useful features. Vizible is basically one Twizgrid feature made into an app, but if that’s your favorite feature, Vizible is definitely worth getting, and may even inspire you to start sharing images through Twitter. Need more help with that? Check out these 7 Twitter photo sharing tips to spread your photographic masterpieces .
Is Twitter a worthy place to share photos? Do you find use for a location-based image browser that’s based on Twitter? What do you think of Vizible? Share your opinions in the comments!