If you imagine a mash-up of a micro-blogging site with a very pretty photo and video sharing service, with good privacy controls and an innovative user interface thrown in for good measure, you might come up with something akin to thisMoment. ThisMoment, which is still in private beta (though we have a few invites to give away), is one of the prettier sites we have reviewed in the recent past. The idea behind thisMoment is that you can upload photos and videos from special moments in your life to the site, which then displays them in a beautiful user interface. The site, however, is flexible enough to make it a very capable all-purpose photo and video micro-blogging service.
'Moments,' as thisMoment calls your updates, appear in a side-scrolling slideshow at the bottom of the screen. They can include multiple photos and videos, which you can import from Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, and YouTube. You can also upload pictures and videos directly to thisMoment.
The central element for browsing thisMoment is the timeline, which consists of a series of bars. You can assign different 'moments' a specific importance, which is represented by the height of the bar in your timeline. Different types of events also come with different colors. This is a surprisingly elegant way of browsing through individual timelines, but it also makes finding specific events relatively hard, has the timelines don't actually have dates on them.
As you would expect from a social site, you can follow other users, send messages to your friends and family members on the service,
Geared Towards the Mainstream
ThisMoment is clearly geared towards a mainstream audience. It does have the ability to send updates to your Twitter account, but there are no embeddable widgets or other export functions for your photos or videos. For the most parts, thisMoment is a closed off silo. There is also no way to send images or videos to it from outside of the service. You can't email a picture to thisMoment, for example, and have it appear in your timeline.
Verdict: Pretty, Fun, But Limited
Most users won't mind (and may even appreciate) that the service lives in a walled garden. The site is definitely a great place to share updates about your kids or your travels, and thisMoment's user interface is very elegant, though sometimes to the detriment of its functionality. Why, for example, is the actual content relegated to the bottom half of the screen, even when browsing through the photos and videos of an event?
Advanced users will probably want more functionality and the ability to port their data or at least get an RSS feed from thisMoment that they can import to FriendFeed or other services.
However, advanced users are not the focus of this site, and it does what it does very well.