Will Wright, creator of The Sims and SimCity, launched a new iPhone app today, and it has nothing to do with taking care of vaguely autonomous animated people or building skyscrapers. The app, called Thred, lets users create and customize mobile scrapbooks, or "threds," and share them with friends.
Users can pull images straight from their phones or an internet search and personalize them with captions, stickers, and filters. Put a unicorn sticker here, tag a friend and location there. Users can upload up to 30 photos at once, rearrange them to tell a story, and then choose from 22 different fonts and 10 categories of stickers to help narrate the story. If the sticker you want isn't available, Thred searches Bing for transparent images that can be overlaid on your panels. Hyperlinks can connect your threds to someone else's, or organize threds by location or topic.
22 different fonts and 10 categories of stickers
"We all use our phones constantly, but they don’t connect us to our surroundings, they make us more removed," Wright said in an interview with Forbes. "Thred engages you with the world around you and builds community."
Wright told Forbes he hopes Thred will eventually pull in users' posts from a variety of apps, which only adds to the feeling that Thred is trying to do everything all at once. It's a meme-generator and photo editing service rolled into one, with options as limitless as there are photos on the internet. One feature, called Your Day, combines photos with location tracking to create an in-depth map of how you spend your time. Old threds can be updated later with new experiences.
The "limitless content" options touted by the service means it's a little scattered, with an aesthetic that sometimes stings of PowerPoint, but its potential largely relies on how people decide to use it. As of now, all threds are public, without the option to share threds privately or with a select group.
Thred is available today on iOS.