right now all around is a way to view recent public instagram posts, with the option to retweet posts you like. It’s kind of a mash up of elements of twitter, Instagram, and tumblr.
There is no filtering of the posts, it is just a sample of all the images posted most recently. The result is a tool of serendipity and exploration. What I find compelling is the juxtaposition of so many different captured experiences, like people watching on a train but spanning across the world, and in so many different settings.
In some cases people who shared photos only had 100 or 200 followers to see them. Now many more can see, share, and comment on the photos.
Instagram made it easier for people to take beautiful photos. right now all around builds on that enabled creativity by creating a collective image stream. In a way the result is visual poetry of what people are doing, feeling, or wanting to remember.
The time of day plays a roll- if you look at the app at 4 AM EST for instance, you will see more photos from southeast asia.
In the non-mobile version updating elapsed time is presented. Usually as you scroll down, you are looking at older bits of content. In this case, with every API call, new images are brought up. If you refresh, you will only see new images. The app is always looking forward, and there is no memory.
I’ve found it a great tool to see new memes, especially one’s that are subculture specific, that I would normally never come across due to my most frequent information channels. Last year there was a lot of talk of the filter bubble- the danger of psilo-ing from recommendation algorithms. With the growth of APIs we have more control to determine our information sharing experiences. This is in part an exploration of that which I hope to pursue in other contexts and media (for example news and Facebook) as well.
See right now all around.
Take a look at the code.
Technical details: I used this as an opportunity to play with the backbone js framework, building a client side app with JSONP from the Twitter API. No authentication is required, and the API is limited to 150 requests per hour per IP address, as described in the Twitter API documentation.