Younity is a new service from Entangled Media that brings Snapchat-like sharing features that apply to all the possible files users would have on their mobile devices and PCs, all without the company seeing or storing any of them. While in Snapchat shared images and pictures are actually stored on the company’s servers, and users at the receiving end can still find ways to copy the content that’s briefly shared with them, Younity will only manage the connection between two devices.
A person would be able to share any files with friends and family, including video and music, but the users at the receiving end would not be able to actually download anything. Furthermore, the actual sharing expires after a period of time, and can be stopped at any time. As for copyright or privacy-related concerns, it appears there aren’t any.
“It’s the equivalent of me playing a CD in your car,” Entangled Media CEO and cofounder Eric Caso told VentureBeat. “You can listen to a song, but you can’t download it. You can only go buy it, and I can unshare it at any time.” As for the data that’s transmitted, the company doesn’t do anything with it. “We can’t see it; we can’t describe it; we can’t touch it.”
The app works on a variety of devices, integrates with other services including Dropbox and is free to use, at least for the time being. But interestingly, the Snapchat-like feature is only one aspect of Younity, as the service is not just a clone of the popular photo messaging application that works with all kinds of files.
Instead, Younity has other more important features that users may appreciate more than the ability of sharing content with friends, and that’s accessing all one’s files on any registered device. Younity is basically a personal cloud service that will let users access from any device on their accounts – including smartphones, tablets and PCs – files stored on any connected and powered on device that’s also on their accounts. That’s a very important detail: all devices must be turned on and linked to each other via an active Internet connection for the service to work.
The only thing that the company collects is metadata about the files stored on registered devices, so the users can later find the files they’re looking for. As for the P2P transfers between devices, these are are done over SSL, whether it’s the streaming of data or download of files in order to access them locally during offline periods.