A new application that can be informally described as “if Yik Yak and Snapchat had a baby” has recently surfaced, and it’s basically just as weird as it sounds.
The app is called Censord (what is it with this trend of dropping vowels?), and it is a photo- and video-sharing application that uses location services to find photos near or relevant to the user. These photos and videos then appear on your feed. It is similar to Yik Yak in the sense that it is anonymous and you can “up vote” or “down vote” posts to make them higher or lower on the feed, and you can get “karma” points for voting and posting. It is also like Yik Yak in that these points generally mean nothing.
Similar to Snapchat, the user can draw and add text to their photos and videos. The camera seems to be slightly better quality than the Snapchat camera, or at least the front-facing camera is, but there are no filter options.
In addition to the regular drawing tool, the user has the option to “censor” any part of the photo, including faces and words that they might not want revealed. The tool allows one to draw “censord” pixels, and if there is inappropriate content, one can tag the picture as not safe for work (NSFW) so the viewers have to tap on the photo itself to see it.
The app itself has a lot of potential. It has the same capabilities as Snapchat and Yik Yak, which are both widely popular, and if it reaches the right audiences, it could be really fun to use. As with most apps, the interface is not the most sophisticated, but not many apps are when they first come out. As they become more popular, they get updated.
Though it is a cool idea, the “censoring” aspect seems to have caused an interesting response. As one scrolls through the University of California, Santa Barbara “location,” there are several NSFW images that are mostly naked or inappropriate pictures. What the purpose of this is no one may ever know, but it could be a self-confidence booster to get one’s naked photos “up voted.” Perhaps the intention of the creators of Censord was not to create a quasi-porn app, but that is essentially what has happened.
Censord has a lot of potential to become popular, but it is off to a rocky start. There’s a “global” section where the user can look at posts from all over the world; this section is slightly more tame than the individual sections because they pull from many different locations, but there are still a lot of inappropriate posts.
Perhaps if more people learn about the app, the content will shift, but it will be difficult to make it more popular if it seems unappealing upon downloading it. There are only 36 reviews on the app store for iPhones, so it does not seem as though too many people have downloaded it. The reviews are mostly positive, and it seems as though people see the potential in the app.
Overall, Censord isn’t the most unique idea, but there are a lot of possibilities. With the right kind of promotion and a good following, the app could be really successful.