Quick Pitch: Piictu is a visual network where you interact with friends and people around the world though picture conversations.
Genius Idea: Photo-gaming.
Testing the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is New York-based and TechStars-backed startup Piictu, makers of an iPhone app where photos are the messages in ongoing visual conversations.
Piictu bills itself as part photo game, part social camera and part meme-space. It’s designed to get the mobile photo-sharer engaged in picture conversations.
“We believe that the ease of taking and sharing a picture today changes the way people use photographs,” Piictu co-founder Noah Slimak says. “In the past, photos were more objects of memory, trying to preserve a moment for posterity. Today, photos are used more as objects of interaction, serving their purpose as part of a checkin, status update or step in a scavenger hunt. Piictu uses pictures purely as a method of interaction, transmitting a message as part of a story, game or conversation.”
The iPhone app encourages you to upload a photo to start a picture stream, which is a series of photos linked together by theme, social relationship or location. You can, of course, choose to participate in the themed threads created by other app users.
Fire up Piictu and you’ll be greeted with a feed of popular and recent picture streams. The app nudges you — via pictures, of course — to add your shots to user-created streams such as “What are you listening to now?,” “Shadows” or “Show your window!”
“We wanted to make an app that prompted users to take a picture. Not just consume content, or feel intimidated by creative hierarchies, but actually jump right into adding an image,” Slimak explains.
You can also use the app to follow just the picture streams of Piictu friends, as well as share your stream contributions to Facebook and Twitter.
Piictu has a lot in common with Photovine, the short-lived community photo app from Google’s Slide team. Piictu’s initial release in July actually predates that of Photovine, and it should appeal to the subset of mobile photo-sharers looking for an amusing and communal app experience.
Piictu has been live in the App Store for 10 weeks and has seen more than 110,000 downloads. More importantly, Slimak says, is that 56% of users have uploaded one or more photos.
“We are building Piictu to be the go to platform for mobile picture interactions, allowing people to communicate and connect with each other in a more direct and transparent way,” Slimak says of the startup’s more long-term vision. Piictu also sees a viable business opportunity in attracting brands looking to engage with customers through photo conversations.
Piictu has raised seed funding from Betaworks, RRE, Softbank and a group of angels. The startup is looking to raise a larger round in the months ahead.
Post to Picture Stream
Photo in a Picture Stream
Picture Stream: Grid View
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