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For quite some time now, there had been rumours and speculation about a new Google project called Photovine. The project has finally been launched and it is a social image-sharing app for smartphones.

Google had purchased the domain name and trademark Photovine about a month ago. At that time, people were left wondering why Google was interested in a photo sharing site, when they already have Picassa.

Now that it is known that Photovine will function as a photo-sharing app for smartphones, the purchase makes sense.

Photovine will be different from other photo-sharing sites. It will allow users with common interests to connect with each other. The FAQ describes Photovine thus:
A vine is like a constantly growing family of photos connected through a common caption created by you, your friends, and people all over the world.

Some examples of vines could be: “What Weekends Are Made Of”, “Secret Stuffed Animal”, “Party People”, or, “Love of My Life”.

As people add photographs to vines, they tell their own stories about the moments, images, and ideas that define our lives in a way that’s social, creative, and fun.

Photovine is run by Slide, which Google had bought over in August 2010 for $182 million.

The concept of collecting a chain of photos that are related to each other through a common caption is quite similar to the new version of Twitter search, where photo and video content are attached through hashtags.

It is not immediately known whether or not Google will eventually integrate Photovine into their new social network Google Plus. At present, Photovine is an invitation only service, and those interested can ask for an invite on