Almost all of us love to take and share photos with our friends, families and relations. They are one of the biggest things on the internet from nearly the beginning of the days of commercial web. Photos are probably the easiest way to show one’s emotion digitally. Initially, it was about using your camera, be it a point and shoot or a DSLR and uploading them to Flickr, Myspace or Facebook. We’ve since moved on to Mobile phones: the best camera is the one that you have with you, and you always have your mobile phone with you, right?
Mobile photo sharing that is largely in use now-a-days forms an important aspect to the success of Facebook as a social media website (and as a larger entity too). So when it faced a threat in this matter from a company named Instagram, it took a very wise business decision of buying the company even though it cost them a billion dollars. Facebook thus won the war for mobile photo sharing in the worldwide global market.
The Popularity of Facebook as a Website
Photo sharing is the heart of Facebook and its photo-sharing album is the most updated all over the internet. This constant updating makes Facebook one of the most dominant players in the new connected world. Another contributing factor to the immense popularity of Facebook is its cross-platform nature and the fact that it gives a fully global identity, bringing together people from all parts of the world.
Numerous efforts have been made to attract more and more people to Facebook over the years. Innumerable applications, games, options for watching, listening and reading have been incorporated in Facebook. However, the greatest success of Facebook has come through photos and their sharing and is mainly due to this aspect of Facebook that this company is still growing and gaining more popularity.
Strategies Implied to Popularize Mobile Photo-sharing Application
• At the beginning when Facebook included this photo sharing application for mobiles, what the users obtained was a very tiresome, convoluted and complicated application that did not arouse too much of interest among its users. • Nevertheless, being a great company as it is, the masterminds behind this company knew about these drawbacks and worked very hard and silently to sort it out. • Soon enough they came up with a solution in the form of an application named ‘Camera’ that largely helped in the simplification of the process of sharing mobile photos on Facebook. • Many people were a bit confused when Mark Zuckerberg and his companions released their photo sharing application, Camera, after they announced that they were buying Instagram for billions of dollars.
Now, why anyone would spend millions (or a billion) buying a company that makes applications for sharing mobile photos when they have already made an application for themselves.
The photos that you take and share are associated with you as a person, and your identity. It’s about what you see and share because of who you are. That’s that Instagram is about; seeing through someone else’s eyes. And that’s probably why Facebook bought Instagram (and has it’s own camera app too): a way to try and combine your Digital and Real identity.
The Photovine Community is better known for creation of unique and fun filled photo libraries which are called as Vines. You can build a photo community by expressing your ideas and themes. The photovine will connect to the like-minded people as mentioned in your photos’ themes. So, in effect, a vine i.e., an album created by you will grow constantly by adding friends and for that matter anyone on the face of the planet can share and connect with you through Photovine. For example, vines can be created on themes like “what weekends are made of”, “party people”, etc. Each person who adds photos to the vine, shares their own experiences about the photos. The sharing will be done in an imaginative, inspiring and socialized style by adding fun.
If you are one of the guys who think photo sharing apps do nothing more than uploading photos to Facebook in their own interfaces and they are not even improving your experience with your phone at all, do read this article, because this is written by a guy who thought exactly the same way. And if you are not one of them, read and see how a man’s opinion changed.
We have Molome with its loveable icon, PicPlz and Streamzoo in our hands here.
Molome and PicPlz have their own networks besides Twitter and Facebook. This is cool, because if you don’t want those apps to be connected with your profiles, you have an option to do that. You sign up to their networks and you don’t have to link this app to your accounts. When signing up to Molome, I was asked to activate my account whereas I wasn’t asked when signing up to PicPlz network. Streamzoo doesn’t have its own network like the other two apps. Well, actually, it has it a little different one. But you don’t sign up to it. You link the app with Twitter or Facebook and then you go settings, Edit Profile. Pick a username and enter your e-mail. Then, you have access to its network.
Of course, you can link PicPlz or Molome to your Facebook and Twitter accounts too. To do this for Molome, go to Profiles and you will see Social Network section where you can log in to Twitter and Facebook. In PicPlz, go to Settings. Here, you have two choices to get to the same screen; either by tapping Account Settings and then Connections tab or just tapping Other Services. Here, picplz has taken this one (or maybe five) steps further by supporting flickr, tumblr, posterous, foursquare and Dropbox in addition to Facebook and Twitter. Although I personally do not have accounts on many of them, I still can see that this is important for ‘sharing crazies’.
In terms of settings, PicPlz takes another step by giving us more options than the others. You can set the app to launch when you press the camera button for example. You can share your location too, this is disabled by default and you have to enable it from the Settings menu. Developer knew that most of people are not comfortable with sharing their locations and some users wouldn’t bother to check settings before uploading photos, so this is a good thing. With PicPlz, accessing to your account settings takes time. It seems it connects to a website or something to apply your changes in your accounts. It might have been better if we could see and set our options faster.
In Streamzoo and Molome, you don’t have a detailed settings page. Streamzoo actually has chosen ‘simplicity’ as its motto. Besides editing your linked accounts and your actual Streamzoo account, only option you have is to enable and disable notifications. Molome isn’t very different, you can only set shutter sound on/off and set auto refresh and background notifications on/off and set their intervals.
In Molome and Streamzoo, there is a mechanism to encourage you to upload and share videos whereas picplz doesn’t have that. Molome gives you badges and Streamzoo gives you points for accomplishing things, well uploading photos. Actually, Molome did take this a step further but we will get there later.
Three of these apps have a method to keep you busy with them. Even if you do not have any friends in their networks, you can take a look at “Popular” photos in Molome and Streamzoo and you can look at “Interesting” photos in PicPlz. These photos are not private photos of course. You see more artistic works in these streams and you can like, comment these photos and add to your collection, this is pretty much what a person expects from a photo sharing network, right?
Look and feel things depend on the people’s delights mostly. The same picture looks different to the people. One loves it, the other hates it and one guy doesn’t even bother to turn and look at it. So this is all a personal opinion I am going to share with you. In my humble opinion, Molome has a more eye-candy looking than the other two. And I couldn’t see enough difference between others to rate them second and third. But you might find them both better than Molomo in terms of design of course. I already expressed my opinion on how cute and loveable Molomo icon is :)
Before taking a look into effects to be applied to photos where you wish, let’s talk about upload and share mechanisms. In Molome, you can take a picture or choose from gallery. After taking or choosing the picture, it lets you zoom in and out and after you are satisfied with the size, you are taken to the effects page and after that, you give a name to the image and upload. You can cancel uploading by tapping yellow UPLOADING text on the screen which appears after you start uploading. This will take you to another page and you will see a red cross on your photo being uploaded. Your effect-applied photos are saved to your phone even if you don’t upload them. To be able to do this, just tap next after applying effects. It will take you to upload screen, but you do not have to upload.
In Streamzoo, besides taking or choosing image to be uploaded, you can shoot videos or choose a video to be uploaded. After you choose or take your photo, it takes you to effects screen. After that, you are taken to the uploading page. You name your photo and start uploading here. Unfortunately, I don’t seem like to find a way to cancel my uploading process. One bad thing I noticed is that it doesn’t save your effect-applied image to your phone if you don’t upload it. About videos, you can’t apply effects to them. But this was what we expected, right?
In PicPlz, after you choose or take your picture, you are taken to the effects page as expected. And of course, after you tap Next, you are taken to uploading screen and you name your image and start uploading. I don’t know if there is something I am missing, but I couldn’t find a way to cancel my uploading process too. And again, you can’t save your effect-applied image to your phone if you don’t upload it. After your image is uploaded successfully, you get an e-mail from picplz which includes the link to your photo. Using this link, you can share your photo with your friends. Here is one of photos of my PC case.
None of these apps have picture effects to apply on the actual photo taking time as you could understand. Instead, you are taken to an ‘effects page’ after you choose or take your image. Molome and picplz are pretty much the same in this aspect. This is where Streamzoo says “You won’t regret if you choose me too.” Besides applying the effects which are also offered by Molome and picplz, you can add cool borders and you can add ‘tilt shift’ effect. Tilt shift effect can be applied one part of your photo and you can apply it to the whole photo if you wish. I told you that Molome had a different method to encourage you to share photos and didn’t tell you what this is. Well, you cannot choose three effects if you do not have 10, 20 and 30 uploaded images.
To come to a conclusion, you should choose which one best suits you. Every one of them has strong and weak aspects. Actually, the only common thing among them is that they are free. So you can try them out on your own and maybe keep them all in your phone. It feels good to be aware that you can try them all doesn’t it?
Didn’t they seem like they offer the things you look for in a photo sharing application? Of course, there are other photo sharing applications in the market. You can try them out too. Or, if you don’t feel like doing it or you don’t have time, you just let us know that you want the app to be compared with these three. I promise that we will do our best to compare and help you choose the one which will satisfy your needs.
While all these apps were reviewed on Android, they are available on multiple platforms, so you should have similar experiences on all platforms. Molome is available on Symbian, Android and Blackberry. Download from the Ovi Store here, the Android Market here and the Blackberry App World here. Streamzoo is available on iOS and Android. Download from the Apple App Store here and the Android Market here. Picplz is available on iOS and Android. Download from the Apple App Store here and the Android Market here.
Check out the Gallery below for all the photos taken using these three applications.
So what can we do if we are in a country like Sri Lanka, India or Saudi, which is not in the list? Fairly simple, just follow the following steps and you will be happy as I am.
Flickr on Share Online 3 (Nokia N82 – S60v3.1)
Flickr on Share Online 4 (Nokia N78 – S60v3.2)
Configuring Flickr on Share Online 3: From your Share Online enabled Nokia device point your browser to http://m.flickr.com/nokia/signin/ then you will be prompted to login to your flickr account and then to download the .cfg configuration file.