Mopho is a new photo sharing service with a strange name — until you realize it’s a domain hack using Tonga’s ccTLD, making it mopho.to.
The idea is similar to more established location based services such as Foursquare or Gowalla, but rather than sharing your locations via check-ins and then adding photos, you share a geotagged photograph through the iPhone application. You can download the free application here.
Once you capture a photo, geotag its location, and publish it through the app, your friends will be notified through their apps, the Mopho website, or Facebook.
The photo and location service spaces are both extremely crowded with 800-pound gorillas in each. I don’t think Mopho offers enough to rise above its competition, but it might succeed in developing a small, enthusiastic community of users like all the other services in the long tail of these spaces.
Y Combinator-funded photo startup Picwing started out in 2008 as a typical photo-sharing service that also beamed your photos to a fancy, $249 digital picture frame that you could use to easily share photos (i.e. baby pictures with your parents). Turns out people weren’t willing to drop that much cash on a digital frame when similar products were bigger, cheaper, and similar in functionality.
Picwing then decided to focus on printing photographs, and realized that many people would like to share more physical prints than they actually do. For example, people might want to share photos of their young children with relatives, but don’t have the time to have photos printed and mailed.
Using the Picwing app for iPhone application or Android, you can send full-res photos directly to the service from your phone. Picwing then automatically prints and mails the photos to up to 6 recipients for a subscription fee starting at around $5 a month for each recipient. Photos can also be added to accounts from your computer or through email, and you can choose to have 15 photos mailed up to twice a month (for a slightly higher fee).
We like the business model, and think there’s definitely a need that Picwing meets. Is this a service you would use?
NachoFoto is a new image search engine that attempts to deliver relevant results for a specific kind of query traditional search engines haven’t focused on: dynamic keywords.
These are keywords for which the resulting photographs should change over time.
For example, if someone searched for “tiger woods” this past week, they were likely looking for photographs of him at the Masters. However, traditional search engines such as Google returned exactly the same images as they did the week before. A quick Google search for “Tiger Woods” shows many images of him, but nothing specifically from this week. A NachoFoto search of the same term returns photographs ordered by freshness.
Another example would be the searches for “earthquake”. Those who search for the term “earthquake” prior to a major disaster would have greatly different expectations than those who searched for the term immediately after. As of now, Google does not offer any way to sort or filter by time in their image search.
Traditional services like Google built their reputation upon relevancy, but newer services such as Twitter have demonstrated that the ability to surface “trending” topics is important to users as well.
This new service is an interesting look at a feature image search engines should have, but unless someone acquires NachoFoto, it probably won’t stand a chance if the feature is added to existing search engines.
Late last week we reported that Facebook had acquired the young photo sharing startup, Divvyshot, and will be shutting the service down.
Troovi is a service that’s similar in functionality — one that focuses more on exchanging photographs than it does on providing a permanent way to share them online.
Rather than provide permanent photo sharing and storage, it’s geared more towards collaborative private albums (called collections) that your family and friends can all contribute to. While services like Flickr or Facebook are great for sharing photographs from a particular trip or event, they don’t provide efficient collaboration features or ways to download entire albums at full resolution.
Troovi allows up to 250 photographs per collection, and one click downloading of the entire collection at full resolution as a ZIP file. This is great for people looking to quickly exchange photographs rather than simply view them.
Free collections are supported by advertising and expire after 30 days of inactivity, while premium collections start at $1.49, expire after 90 inactive days, and allow an unlimited number of photos per collection.
While it looks like Facebook is attempt to make exchanging photos easier with its Photos application, it’s unlikely it will rival Troovi in allowing you to download hundreds of full resolution photographs from events, since Facebook doesn’t store full resolution versions of uploaded images.
Israeli startup Dropico thinks there’s time to be saved in online photo management. The company has just launched its flash-based web application that allows you to manage your photographs across various web services (i.e. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc…) all in one place.
Each photo sharing service is displayed in a separate box, allowing you to easily drag and drop photographs from one service to another. Transferring a photograph from Facebook to Flickr took literally a couple seconds, and photos can be moved in batch as well, but currently requires clicking a checkbox on each one.
A problem we found was that giving after giving Dropico permanent access to your social media account, there doesn’t seem to be any way to revoke permission or to change accounts unless you go to that application (i.e. Facebook) and revoke the permissions there.
Despite the current lack of advanced features and minor usability flaws, the idea behind Dropico seems pretty solid. Also, TechCrunch reports that the service is planning to provide an aggregate stream of your friends’ photographs across social networks, allowing you to follow all the latest photos in one place.
SnapKnot is a new service that aims to make it easy to search for and compare local wedding photographers.
Wedding photographers can list themselves on the website by creating a “SnapKnot”, which is a widget-style box containing such things as sample photographs, company name, years of experience, professional affiliations, price range, and location. These SnapKnots are then displayed on the main page and can be filtered by location and price range.
Photographers that interest you can be bookmarked by adding them to a private “My SnapKnots” page with a single click.
Launched just over a month ago, the service currently has just under 400 photographers listed, and aims to have 1000 listed by this summer.
Check it out and let us know what you think! Does this service hit the nail on the head for wedding photography?
fotojournal is a new photoblogging service by Canadian company Robot Republic geared towards professional photographers, allowing them to showcase their work in a blog format.
They just had their launch party a couple days ago, and the pay-as-you-go service will soon be fully open to the public (they’re currently in invite-only private beta). No word on what their pricing model is.
The site is well designed, and allows you to display your photographs in various templates without requiring HTML knowledge. Among the templates is one that features your photographs at a large Big Picture-esque resolution:
The photo hosting and sharing space is chock-full of competition, but fotojournal might be able to find a niche with its clean design and flexible format.
Flixtime is a website launched recently by Stock photography service Fotolia that helps you easily transform your photos, videos, and text into short 60-second flash video clips.
Creating a video requires an account, and you can choose to either use your own photographs, or stock photographs provided by Fotolia. Once the video is created, you can either share it online or download it to your computer. Generic animations can be added to your video, which can be saved in a large number of video formats.
If you need to create a short video clip for whatever reason, Flixtime is a pretty fast way to get it done.
Showzey is a web app that helps you collect and organize your photographs from various places on the web in once place.
One of its interesting features is the ability to collect all the attachments in your Gmail account and either save them to your Showzey account, or transfer them directly to a photo service like Flickr or Picasa (Facebook supported too). Here’s how you would collect the photos from your Gmail:
I don’t know about you guys, but usually when I receive a photo attachment in an email that I don’t save to my computer, I never see it again. This might be an interesting way to explore all the various photos you’ve been sent over the years.
P.S. Showzey seems heavily inspired design-wise by Mint
Fotobabble is a newly launched service that allows you to add a short audio clip to photographs via either your computer or iPhone (using their free application).
Here’s the description on their website:
Fotobabble lets you create talking photos in two clicks. Simply upload a photo and then record your voice directly through your computer to create a talking photo. You can easily share it by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or embed it into a blog or website.
It’s free and all completely web-based. No software to download, just register and get started in seconds.
Here’s an example Fotobabble found on the website that we embedded into this post: