Hands down, picture-based services are the hottest trend in social media. And honestly, I don't see that changing anytime soon. From earlier this year, when Pinterest was the site on everyone's mind to Facebook's acquisition of Instagram a couple of months ago, the power to share images rapidly and in unique ways is capturing our attention like nothing else these days!
Want proof? According to the Digital Buzz Blog, each day on Facebook, 300 million photos are uploaded. Instagram gains one new user every second. And there are roughly 58 photos per second being uploaded to Instagram.
This trend toward visual media is being noticed by some very creative entrepreneurs, one of whom I had the pleasure of meeting last week at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, and since then, I've been dying to tell you about his company and products!
Justin Miller and a few partners founded a company called DejaMi. It's a location-based photo sharing app. It boasts 11 custom filters, frames, and captions, and gives you and up to around 30,000 folks who might be nearby, the ability to share your photos and captions with other users in real time. Just think – concerts, conferences, and weddings, being able to share the experience with others you might not even have met (yet!) in real time and being able to see from their perspective as well.
I'm excited for them! Not only is this an amazing entrepreneurial twist on photo sharing and social media, but I can imagine some pretty creative ideas for using DejaMi to help you build your brand!
Not to mention that this is an interesting way of bringing the virtual world and the social world together. Can you imagine a business hosting a scavenger hunt and getting people to engage with each other, talking about that brand at each check-in point?
Or a contest asking customers to snap and share pictures of themselves holding a company's product, awarding prizes to the person closest to a randomly selected location.
Just like we've seen with Pinterest and Instagram, the possibilities for customers to engage with their favorite brands via visual social media are truly endless, and I'm excited to see how people push the limits of creative branding techniques using DejaMi.
And in case that wasn't interesting enough, they've built a second company spun off the first idea, called WedPics.
A digital approach to the audience-favorite technique of leaving disposable cameras on every table at a wedding, WedPics allows a bride and groom to register for an online, interactive wedding album. Then they invite their guests to share in the experience of creating the album by uploading pictures, either via smartphone – even as the event is in progress! If guests have standard digital cameras, they can upload pics via the newlyweds' personalized website after the wedding. Family and friends can comment, love, and make slideshows, in addition to ordering their own copies of favorite photos from the big day.
Is this an amazing use of photo sharing technology, or what? It's also a PERFECT example of a company providing value to its customers by listening to what they want. How many times have you been at a wedding – your own or others – and realized that the couple celebrating often don't remember a thing from the day. The creators of WedPics were attentive to their customers, heard their desires, and created a profitable service that meets that need, giving the bride and groom a way of viewing their special day from the many perspectives of their loved ones in attendance.
As a side note, given the fact that WedPics albums have already been created in 12 different countries, to date, it seems their ability to listen to their customers is pretty well developed indeed!
Do you see the synergy that results when customer need meets hot trend? I tell you, it's the stuff of branding magic <grin>!
What's been your favorite way to use picture-based social media so far? Leave a comment below – I'd love to know!