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A Better Photo Browsing Environment

I've been a photographer for quite some time now and with the creation of smart phones line the iPhone and Android, being a photographer has never been easier. But because we create so much content from our phones, SLRs, point and shoots, etc. isn't there a better way to organize them?

Yeah, Facebook gives us the ability to put things into albums, but so does everything else (Google+ and Flickr notwithstanding).

That said, I am building an application that allows people to find all the photos they have from many different sources and use logic to show them the better photos they've taken in an aesthetically pleasing way that is not a thumbnail or a fullscreen photo.

I think the challenge will be presenting them with another photo application and requiring access to many networks of photos before the application can be see as useful to them. There are so many applications out there and with the Instagrams of the world, I don't want this thing to get lost when it can bring some real value.

Here are some questions I was considering.

  • What steps do you think I need to take to make it sticky?
  • What kind of engagements do you think people are looking for to come back?
  • What would be people be willing to pay for?
  • What are the emotional bounds to photos that are personal?

Here is the viral loop I was considering.

  1. User A creates a group of photos and shares it with User B (a FB friend) through FB/email
  2. User B receives invitation through email and as a Facebook app invitation
  3. User B views the group of photos without requiring a login and sees a prompt to create their own group with free storage for the first group of photos, however large
  4. User B sees that User A is adding more photos to the original group through the application and via email after creating their own account
  5. User B creates a group of photos and User A gets storage credit from User B

Perhaps I can also prompt sharing in the application a little more like this:

  1. When User B creates a group of photos, they are prompted to add a few friend from Facebook to make it better
  2. When new photos are taken and added on Facebook, User B gets a notification via email/FB that new photos can be added to the group of photos

I think there is a balance of notifications and incentives that I need to find a balance with. Any suggestions?

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Update: Based on Feedback

I was told to clarify my intended user, and this is what the problem is and these are my ideal users:

Problem:

  • These days, taking photos is easier than ever, people are empowered to be photographers with applications like Instagram and just the simple flick to open the Camera.
  • Because taking good quality photos is so accessible today, more photos are being created. The digital perspective allows for excess photos to be created without consequence. Photos can always be copied and deleted and storage comes cheap. Why not take as many photos as you can?
  • Well, this has created a "photo overload" problem and a simple storage solution won't solve it.
  • We created Linea to resolve this problem. The platform itself will use smart algorithms to show you the photos that you want to see, eliminating poor quality photos, removing duplicates or similarities, and index photos that you want to be able to see quickly by the material content.

Users:

  • Yes, there is a distinction between users and customers, but our users are more or less our customers. Unpaying users are still our customers, which we'll hope to convert in the future.
  • Our goal is to make it a valuable resource to all users that want to upload their photos. We provide them with a platform to upload their photos at a finite amount, limiting the amount of activity if they are not a paying user.
  • We also want to incentivize activity for people that are connected to our customers. This would provide a natural progression to onboarding these people.

Scenario:

  • Josh is a wedding photographer, but he has way too many photos for each wedding, he wants to select the best photos for the Smith Family Wedding this year.
  • Josh drops all his photos into Linea to upload.
  • When Josh comes back to Linea on his phone or tablet, he sees a beautiful arrangement.
  • Because Josh isn't paying for it, this photo storage will refresh, and the photos currently stored will be replaced by the next months photos. He'll get a warning before this transition happens so he knows to remove them or upgrade.
  • Josh loves it, so he decides to upgrade. He can now use it and share with his clients, who are able to pay him for access to the photographs, or he can present them with a code if they've paid him separately.
  • The Smith Family now has access to all these photos to share and to download at their own will.

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