You’re at a party. You’ve captured a few of the night’s highlights. You want to share them. You could send them to your friends or post them on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but why do that when you can share your pics with everyone at the party?
It’s hard to believe that no one thought of doing what Tapshare does before high school buddies Jacob Fatoorechi and Myke Armstrong. The app lets iPhone–and soon Android–users to create an album that anyone with the app can add to, share and view. It may not sound revolutionary in a world where you can upload an entire album to Facebook from your phone or use +Google to circulate photos and albums with “Circles” of people you’ve never met.
Fatoorechi was at a party hosted by Armstrong when he wondered:
“Why isn’t everyone at the party connected?”
Fatoorechi, an experienced developer, thought he could create something that would help people connect online and off. That night Fatoorechi told Armstrong about his idea and the two decided to revive their business partnership: after high school they co-founded NerdyShirts.com, and sold it with enough profits to fund their next venture.
Initially, they wanted to create an app that would give everyone in a particular physical place access to each other in cyberspace. Fatoorechi started coding. When they released a beta version of their app they quickly realized two things: 1. It’s similarity to a newly launched social networking app called Highlight that notifies you when people you know are nearby and lets you start a conversation via the app, among other things. 2. It wasn’t engaging.
“It wasn’t that fun,” says Armstrong of the first iteration of the app. If an app isn’t fun, it’s done. “We thought, ‘photos are fun. Everyone loves photos. Jacob and I took photos ever since cameras could fit in our pockets,” says Armstrong. The pair found themselves at a crossroad: would they continue to develop their initial concept and integrate photos or would they rethink their game plan.
They chose the latter and created the iPhone app Tapshare in 2012. The app allows you to create an album where anyone can add photos to an album, tag people, comment and share. It encourages both discovery and collaboration.
“On the road…any road,” is a photo collection contributed by Tapshare users: roads that share no time or place. The album is a compilation that explores what “on the road” means to us: escape, freedom and loneliness come to mind when flipping through the album. I couldn’t resist adding to it. This isn’t exactly the use case the guys had in mind, but that’s part of what excites Armstrong and Fatoorechi about creating products for an audience that can choose to use the technology in unanticipated ways.
Tapshare’s creators expected people to create albums to share collective experiences. Who needs all those disposable cameras at wedding receptions when the host can add the name of the album to the invitations? It saves a lot of the headache, but leaves room for some unflattering shots without the advantage of censorship or curation. Fatoorechi is working on adding features that will allow groups to create albums requiring an invite or permission to view and update. Still, even casual gatherings like Silicon Beach LA Unwind, where I first met Armstrong and Fatoorechi, have albums created by people in the same physical time and place.
Let’s see how Tapshare handles real-time events like the Super Bowl and Academy Awards. Such albums have the potential to create a snapshot of particular moments experienced collectively by people who’ve never met.
Tapshare’s user base is growing, with several thousand active users. Armstrong says event albums, like Silicon Beach Unwind, typically get 100 photos added over the course of the night. “The interface also promotes adding at least 5-7 photos when a user creates an album,” says Fatoorechi.
He’s right. If your album doesn’t have at least five images you don’t even fill up the screen. It looks really awkward, and not wanting to look awkward online is a really compelling reason to add a few more photos to the album.
Armstrong and Fatoorechi aren’t focused on monetizing Tapshare now, but are considering monitized products for late 2013. They’ve also been talking to industry people and local bars about sponsoring “Tapshare Nights.” Tapshare remains a bootstrapped venture in its current form, but neither Fatoorechi nor Armstrong ruled out seeking VC funding in the future.
- What You Don’t Know About Sharing Photos (allthingsd.com)
- Updated Facebook Tip: Organizing, Moving and Editing Your Photos And Albums (greatpoetrymhf.wordpress.com)
- 3 Tips to Make Social Media Sharing Quick & Easy! (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- Now iOS App: Exploring Events Happening Nearby Using Instagram Photos (solsie.com)
- One-Tap Storytelling: Qwiki Sheds Its Web And Search Roots, Goes Mobile-Only With Beta Launch Of New iPhone App (techcrunch.com)
- Oh, Snap! Flickr Takes on Instagram. (allthingsd.com)