It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. And in this case, it was in fact my mother who inspired FotoJelly. I saw how frustrating it was for her as well as other family & friends to easily share photos of birthdays, outings and other events captured with their smartphones – I call it “Foto Rodeo”, trying to rustle up photos from everyone.
Sure, they could learn to use hashtags, how to "stream" their photos, email everyone links to a photo archive, etc. But they aren't intuitive solutions for the 80%. I wanted to develop an application that integrated with the social networks, calendars, and event services they already use, to create and share albums easily, and do it in real time.
The FotoJelly Vision
Our vision is simple: the best suite of photo sharing apps and services available first for Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 App Store, other smartphones, and beyond.
We'll start with a mobile app that doesn’t require you to be a techie or social media expert. You simply create or join a “Jelly” that’s been associated with a particular activity or event you are part of. You, along with everyone else, begin capturing and sharing fotos.
- The album automatically adapts to the time, date and [optionally] venue/location of the event, assuring everyone that all the fotos captured and shared are relevant (e.g., no more Christmas fotos showing up in your Spring Break album!)
- By default, these fotos are only shared with those you invite. They can be made public to allow others to view and comment on. You can also cross-post your fotos to Facebook and twitter, customize them with filters & stickers, etc.
For event hosts, businesses and marketers, you’re no longer held hostage by hashtags, the technical equivalents to cats, where you never really own them and have no idea whether they will eventually cause your event or brand trouble later on. Instead, you create the album and invite event guests, customers or the general public to participate. Should you want to cross-post to social networks or attach a hashtag, you are free to do so. The key is this: you always own the experience and can define the context of the content.
The app will be free - you don't have to be a paid member of the FotoJelly site to use the app or share fotos via social networks. Supporters of our project at the $25 level or above will get access to special versions of the app with premium capabilities unlocked.
We have gone from concept and prototype to testing with users, iterating on our initial ideas and improving the product along the way. Our Founder graduated from a tech incubator, using the opportunity to refine the vision and develop an alpha project.
During that time we were recognized by Microsoft and our developer community peers for our beta effort and the uniqueness of our app.
Now we need your help to complete the refined version of the app, migrate it to Windows Phone 8, and add features that we feel will fulfill the FotoJelly vision.
The funds will apportioned to contracting a designer and additional developer, acquiring testing hardware, and project management.
We have a lot of great rewards lined up for our supporters, everything from beta access to FotoJelly-branded swag and invites to our launch parties in Chicago or Seattle. And, every pledge of $8 or more will receive a limited-edition badge displayed in their User Profile within the app.
What platforms will FotoJelly be available on?
We are super fans of Windows Phone, and will continue to prioritize development to that device. But, we do understand that we have to support additional platforms to generate the scale of users we need to make FotoJelly an unqualified success.
How much does the FotoJelly app cost?
The app will be free and feature-rich as described. We do believe there is an audience for premium and professional features and capabilities that would further enhance the FotoJelly experience to a select segment of our customer base, and will offer early access as reward for significant pledges.
How does FotoJelly deal with privacy issues?
By default, all Jellies are private to the Host and the individuals who are invited. Fotos uploaded to or taken within the FotoJelly app can be deleted by the user who submitted them, even after the Jelly has been closed. We do not own your photos. And while we may use advertisement to support our products, there will never be a direct or implied associatio made to our users or their photos.
Risks and challenges
The primary risk to any software project's success would be the ability of the team to develop the app and release it to the public. We’ve proven our ability to execute and have been recognized by Microsoft and our developer peers for our ability to do so well. As experienced developers, product managers, and business leaders you can be assured we will communicate our progress regularly, regularly assess our performance and address challenges head on, ultimately reaching our goal and delivering a great product.