PhotoRocket, Led by Amazon and aQuantive Vet Scott Lipsky, Uncloaks its “Not Another Photo Sharing Service”
Sharing your latest digital snapshots with family, friends, coworkers and the rest of the world is nothing new. But Scott Lipsky, a veteran of some of Seattle’s biggest tech success stories, thinks it’s still way too annoying.
His proposed cure is PhotoRocket, the startup photo-sharing utility that’s finally making its full public debut at Monday’s DEMO conference in Palm Desert, CA.
PhotoRocket has been varying degrees of coy about its service for the past year or so. The service has been in invite-only alpha testing for several months—you can check out this short promotional video of how it works—and has been slowly emerging for different computing platforms.
But with the covers finally coming off, Lipsky and CEO Gary Roshak called up to give Xconomy a little tour.
The one thing PhotoRocket mentions a lot is that they’re “not another photo sharing service”—which, of course, they are. But here’s what’s different: PhotoRocket isn’t necessarily trying to be the destination for your photo habit. Instead, it wants to position its technology seamlessly at all the points where you’d access your latest photographic genius and make it easier to push those images out to whomever you want, however you want.
So rather than existing mostly as a website that you have to access and set up an account for, PhotoRocket works as an application on your computer or mobile device. Once embedded, it offers a pretty simple mechanism for distributing photos over e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Shutterfly, and Flickr (they say more options are coming.)
That gets rid of the sometimes laborious process of browsing for photos, uploading them to a site, changing the size if they’re too large, and doing it all over again if you want to switch to a new distribution system. And your audience can view those photos without setting up any account of their own, making it less annoying on both ends.
“You can PhotoRocket a photo in five seconds to people and Facebook simultaneously. If you want to e-mail that photo, it’s five or 10 steps,” Lipsky says. “If you want to get a photo uploaded to a photo-sharing site or Facebook, it’s 10 or 20 steps.”
That may be an exaggeration, but I will acknowledge that it sometimes can take a lot of clicks and data entry and load-time waits to move your photos around, which at times doesn’t feel very 21st Century. I tested the PhotoRocket app on my iPhone and—while I’m no photo-app power user—it did seem like an easy and intuitive way to push images to multiple channels.
So that’s great. But is there a big business here? Flickr, Photobucket, Shutterfly and … Next Page »
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