A Picture Says a Thousand Words – Photo Sharing AppsBy Toby Russell
At the time of writing, photo sharing apps are the hottest thing that’s happened since email. The fastest growing site is Instagram (owned by Facebook), which just a few short months ago people were scoffing at. But as it turns out, everybody in every market loves taking pictures, editing them to perfection, and sharing them with friends.
If you want to create an excellent app that really engages your audience, you should consider getting into the photo sharing game. We’ve already got Instagram and some other big-name apps, but there’s still room for an original idea or an untapped market.
Pick a Specific Theme
Instagram and the like have all kinds of pictures (8 billion snapshots on Instagram to be exact). You subscribe to your friends’ feeds and see everything they’ve snapped. But the new trend is to create apps like Food spotting, which is tailored to a specific type of pic – pics of food.
Right off the top of my head (just thinking about what my friends take), I can come up with a bunch of great themes for photo sharing apps – pets, specific pets like cats or dogs, cars, gadgets, natural scenery, cool designs, musical instruments, and kids. Basically, any niche that you’re in could be a good photo sharing app theme.
Consider it from the customer’s point of view – it’s cool to see your friends’ pictures. But what about a site that’s just pics of kids or kid-related things? How about one that’s just beautiful natural scenery or hot cars? Figure out what your market would love to see more images of, and you’re ready to call the developer.
Mix It with Video
There’s an app by a company called GLMPS where you take a picture and it records a few seconds of video right before it snaps the picture. When you share your photos, a little icon appears at the bottom. Your friends can click on that icon and see the few seconds leading up to the snapshot. It adds a lot to the picture.
There are lots of ways you can mix up other media with your photo sharing app. Mixing media makes it more fun and engaging for your customers. Some apps let you add text to your pictures. Along with all the regular photo editing features, you can add word balloons, quotes, captions, or any other text.
One Special Effect
Instagram has all kinds of different effects and filters you can use. Other apps, like Tiltshift, focus on just one special effect and do it really well. Tiltshift uses a photographic effect called ’tilt,’ where one part of the picture becomes clear and the rest is blurry. Another app called Pano is all about creating panoramas.
You’ve got many different photo effects to choose from. The idea is to take just one (if it relates to your niche, that’s even better) and really work it. See what you can do with it. This approach allows you to dominate the market for that effect.
As Instagram has shown, photo sharing is hugely popular and it’s not going away anytime soon. If you can find a way to combine photo sharing with your niche, you can create a killer for your customers.
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