A Beginner’s Guide to Facefeed, a New Social Network Revolving Around Selfies
That celebrity-stuffed Ellen DeGeneres Oscar photo proved that everyone — even poor Liza Minnelli — loves a good selfie. Unfortunately, clogging your social media feeds with photo after photo of your duckfaces remains an obnoxious habit.
Never fear: Facefeed, an app that allows you to share photos and short messages with people nearby, can be your new selfie outlet. And it might just help you make some selfie-loving friends, too.
The iOS app is set up like a Facebook or Instagram feed, only full of selfies. You can browse the photos of people nearby and send anyone who catches your eye a short message, along with a quick photo that you take of your own face. The app emphasizes spontaneity by stripping the image-capturing process of any editing capabilities whatsoever: Press your finger down on your screen to open your camera, and once you lift your finger again, the app will automatically take a photo and send it off.
You don’t get to preview the image, and the photo doesn’t save to your phone.
The result is a playful, fast-paced exchange with relatively harmless people. (Though I should warn you that every once in a while you may receive a selfie of something far less appealing than a person’s face. The app’s creator, Ben Cera, assures me that he’s working on that, but so far the app seems unable to filter NSFW content.)
Facefeed is by no means a medium to form actual connections with people. Rather, it introduces you to a vast number of bored folks who, like you, are wasting time on their phones. In many ways it taps the same voyeuristic fascination with strangers that caused us to wander into AOL chatrooms or dare to brave the random webcam feeds of Chatroulette. Yes, there are weirdos. But there are normal people, too. You just have to do your best to navigate those murky waters via the few social cues you can decipher.
And if you happen to be the weirdo, you’re in luck: Facefeed doesn’t require a connection to your email or social feeds like Facebook if you don’t want it to.
Here’s a basic run-through of how to use it:
1. Download the app and open it.
2. Type in your name and tap Enter.
3. Select your age range.
4. Choose your gender. As you can see, Facefeed has not yet adopted the same generous list of options that Facebook recently provided for its customers, so for now you’re either a man or a woman.