Tag Archives: photo sharing

Photo social sharing services – here yesterday, gone today

When Kevin Rose sold Digg and started his own social sharing service under the company name of Milk, we all watched with anticipation for what was possible from someone who has had a close relationship with the public for a very long time. His company’s app had us sharing photos and experiences, instead of being locked into an overall location. All was fun till Google offered Kevin a job and he pulled the plug.

The key to many photo as well as document apps, is the cloud backend that is needed for others to see your creations. When the provider pulls the plug on the hosting, the app on your iPhone generally becomes useless. Some still allow creation and editing, but the method to get the resulting item out of the app has been removed. And, with that, so is the social groups a person had built up.

With so many options, it is easy to miss going to one when another is getting a lot of attention from others so there are things to comment on. You know, the social side of social media.

Last week I visited two apps that I thought I had more recently used, but discovered it must have been months… oh how time flies by!

For a few months, everyone was getting into the Gif sharing. Apps to create and apps to share where everywhere a person looked on Photography sites. Perhaps Vine with it’s sharing of a 6 second movie helped lighten the visits to the many Gif sharing solutions. One that had a nice selection of short moving images that appeared to be from some very creative people was Gifture.

Gifture iPhone April 2012

When I launched the app, there was non of my posts or other people’s posts available anymore. In this case though, perhaps it will return some day, the developer’s promise. When it returns, will the users return… since they already got burned once.

Gifture Web site

Another photo sharing app that actually got a lot of attention in tech groups of folks was Hipster. Their idea was that a person created ‘digital postcards’ via snapping a photo and having a frame applied with location text. Find friends and share ‘postcards’ within Hipster for others to enjoy. I didn’t really dive into the app’s social pond very deeply as there was almost no posts by folks close to me and those far away where not posting very regularly. Yet, the app continued to get press as being the place to be.

Hipster iPhone Dec 2013

Launching the app now results in all areas and pages being blank. The Hipster Web site tells a bit of the story:

“Hipster says goodbye.

There’s an old saying that says that “all good things must come to an end”, and its with a mixture of a lot of emotions – gratitude, sadness, and excitement for the future – that we’re letting you know that Hipster will be shutting down as of February 16th, 2013.

You’ll have until that date to save whatever postcards you’d like to keep – after that, all of the postcards you’ve sent through Hipster, and the accounts you’ve created will be deleted.

The decision to shut down Hipster was not an easy one. Over the last 18 months, over 500,000 people have joined our community, sent some amazing postcards, and made some real friendships. However, given the combination of many things – the state of today’s photosharing landscape, financial considerations, and speed of the growth of the community – we decided that now was the appropriate time to end the great experiment that is Hipster.”

So, what is the responsibility to your customers? Gone are the days of the little corner photo processing booth going out of business and the neighborhood having to drive a bit further. Social services effect people globally, both in their time as well as relationships that were created and now lost. Generally, there is no other way to contact someone outside of the provider’s solution. Will people start to be more cautious about joining in on the promise of fun amongst new friends when the relationship connection requires an outside party with only the hopes of an income stream in the game?

Does Albumatic have the friends photo album share figured out?

The iPhone has a camera, it has social solutions to post photos to and it many options to group photos and friends. The trick has been how to get all of the bits to come together in a way that is actually usable. Recently I was reminded of a early solution that allowed photos to be grouped by an event, it had it’s limitations around friend grouping along with a few other layout issues. In the world of apps, it was several years ago so the name has gone from my memory.

It seems everyone has made an attempt at providing a solution. Apps like Flock have ‘smarts’ built in around how and who should see the photos so there is less burden on the users. Other apps try gain usage through a unique interface for adding, sorting and viewing. It’s a huge challenge to find the magic sauce which will pull people in to use.

Albumatic is an app that has risen to being noticed not by setting new records in the number of our friends using it. Rather, in the area of the types and amount of investors that have jumped onboard to help the app grow. It’s strengths are the ability to build an album that others can be alerted to. They can then view and add their own images… which pretty much sounds like the marketing behind all of the other iPhone photo album sharing apps.

It appears from my first testing that if the album is location based, others can’t add photos without being close by. Other options are location based only by name and I ended up with pictures from other events. ‘Friends’ don’t have to be at the event to enjoy the photos, only to post (I like that). Those that are viewing (joined) the album are available via the app to the Album creator so it is easy to see who is watching along and who isn’t. Time will tell if Albumatic becomes the location photo album solution of choice. Once again, a free app that will have to pay the bills somehow once the VC money runs out, will it be location based ads?

PhotoJojo is going to school you on better iPhone Photography

This just in… PhotoJojo wants to go beyond cool iPhone photography gadgets and fun books. Now, they are offering their own ‘University’ on ‘Phoneography 101‘.

For $5 (introductory price), you will receive two emails a week for four weeks covering; Camera Basics, Composition, Lighting, Experimental, Creative Effects, Tools, Editing and Sharing. The emails are reported to be ‘bite-sized’ and formatted to view on the iPhone screen. Each lesson taking minutes instead of hours. While there is no homework or surprise quizzes, each lesson does end with a challenge to strength your photography skills. All taught by Professor Pancake, Professor PJ and a Basket of Kittens… yea, they have s sense of humor over at PhotoJojo.

What do I think? Well, I have yet to receive my first lesson but below are some screen shots they offer on the site. It looks interesting and may prove to be a great gift for the new iPhone (no Android version available!!) owner that found they now have a camera everywhere they go.

01 PhotoJojo University

02 PhotoJojo University

03 PhotoJojo University

For the love of EyeEm iPhone photo share, updates and Ambassadors

Many times, services and apps are reviewed by how they do against another solution. Feature lists, support, accessibility and user interfaces of a new app have get compared to another that people think set the standard.

In the world of iPhone photo sharing, many compare others against Instagram. While I agree, the solution is very well done, there are others with a different take on the sharing problem that are equally well designed, but they are different. EyeEm is one that is a service and an app where iPhone photo sharing is at the center. Photos on the service are generally quality over quantity. People post up fewer photos, seemingly picking only their better shots. Each photo is tagged with what the photographer was doing and where they were. The location being an item they choose from a list of nearby business options or enter their own instead of being locked to a Geolocator.

A recent update to EyeEm made the application of the included filters and frames easier. While I do almost all of my tuning outside of the app, the ease of selecting an additional filter is nice. Swipe side-to-side to move through the available filters (14), seeing each one being applied, reaching the end moves you back to the start. Swiping up/down takes you through the frame options (12) to outline the photo your uploading.

You can still use the buttons along the bottom to show the filters and frames which can be manually picked. Across the top of the ‘edit’ area of EyeEm is a ‘clarify’ like enhancement tool and crop.

To get the word of EyeEm out to more possible users and to gather with people to exchange set up and usage stories, EyeEm is now offering the opportunity to be an Ambassador.

While looking at the Ambassador information, you may want to look around a bit at EyeEm’s very nice tutorial pages. Full of instructions and inspirational photos.

Was Google’s graphical update to Google+ for the iPhone enough for you to jump in?

Google has been trying, trying very hard, to get you to jump on board with their Google+ social sharing. A lot of the big names in just about every industry have dipped a toe into the Google+ waters. A quick search will result in names you will know. Digging a bit deeper, you may find very little quantity of posts behind that quality of names.

The biggest change to the iPhone app for Google+ was making the string of posts from folks in your ‘Circles’ more graphical. Gone is the headline text, small icon, and teaser text on a plain white background. Now, the posting person’s name and image appear larger, with the headline or teaser text over the top of the key image of the post. This means that searching visually for text your interested in is more difficult, but swiping through the posts and seeing related images is quicker. It’s a interesting path change from a company that has the simplest of Search starting and listing pages to now a almost completely graphical UI in their mobile social app.

In the update prior to this one, a occasional issue was introduced where uploading photos in a post wasn’t always successful. Photos can also be uploaded to libraries on Google+ that you create. A feature that was introduced between the last and this update was the ability to have photos automatically saved from your iPhone to Google as a cloud storage option. This feature is similar to Apple’s Photo Steam, except with Photo Stream the photos sync back to your desktop while with Google they stay on their storage… a couple gigs are provided at no charge, adding more carries charges.

When viewing your photo libraries on Google through Google+, you can choose a single photo to look at comments others have made (those you chose to share). Swiping a photo takes you to the next in the series.

Photos are grouped by Google+ into areas that are similar to what you would see on other social share services. Multiple photos can be attached a post, which you can make viewable to no one, your friend’s circles or the general ‘public’.

Viewing your multiple social photo albums in one iPhone app

If your like me, I have my photos shared all over the place. I have several groups on Facebook for that group of friends, my constant posting to Instagram, Twitpic for my Twitter shares and the list goes on.

This of course means there are times I have shared a photo, removed it from my iPhone and forgot where it was that I posted it. Also, there are times I need to buzz to several albums when I’m mobile to find a couple pics to use in a post… loging in/out of multiple social services.

I found an app that seems to be from someone that has shared my pains, SuperAlbum. It’s a inexpensive app that lets me view across albums on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Mixi, Picasa, Tumblr, TwitPic, and 500ps – all at the same time. I can grab a photo off of any of the services and re-share or even print.