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EyeEm offers more social image-sharing options

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 EyeEm's tagging system groups images by topic and location. 

Instagram is not the only social image-sharing platform out there.

Amongst the alternatives is EyeEm: A platform created by the Berlin-based app maker of the same name which launched in August of 2011. The app offers slick, well-organized image browsing by pushing users to tag images via topic and location, as well as web upload capability and compatibility across all three major mobile operating systems.

The basic concept will be familiar to Instagram users, though the interface feels completely different. Images come in all shapes and sizes (not limited to the ubiquitous squares we've become so familiar with), and are grouped according to the tags you assign when posting (alternatively, you can add captions). As you upload images, EyeEm invites you to tag them according to topic and location, which groups your image with others that use the same tags.

Filters are familiar in EyeEm if you've used other social image-sharing platforms.
As you assign a topic for your image, you'll see topics other users have already created.

“We used to say that EyeEm basically starts where Facebook and Instagram stop,” Severin Matusek, Head of Content of Community for EyeEm, described in a recent interview with Connect. “Our big vision behind EyeEm since the very beginning is to make photo sharing smart.”

While the basic concept is the same – choose or shoot an image to share, add a filter and post -- EyeEm’s unique tagging process during upload leads to a different viewing experience of images.

“Our experience starts after you’ve uploaded the photo,” Matusek explained. 

EyeEm seeks to branch out beyond a self-built social sharing network through its Discover feed, introduced in the app’s major update to version 3.0 last month.

“This is a stream of photos that shows you what's relevant to you: photos around you, trending topics, albums that just got updated with new pictures,” Matusek said. “It gets better and better with every photo you take, learning what you love and showing you places, topics and people that matter to you.”

The Discover feed feels intuitive: upload an image from your recent hiking trip with the label “hiking,” and you’ll see an album of images others labeled hiking by other EyeEm users. You’ll also be directed to other images taken in the same location you selected.

When you upload images to EyeEm, you'll tag them with topics and locations relevant to your photo ...
... and start to see related images in your Discover feed.

“Our vision from the beginning was to be the first to perfectly organize and structure all photos taken with EyeEm (and eventually all photos from the social web) and leverage the data cube behind it to build the most personalized experience out there,” Matusek said.

EyeEm is certainly not a competitor to Instagram with 1 million app downloads and 1 million images uploaded, but it offers features the reigning social image-sharing platform can’t. EyeEm users can upload via the web -- something Instagramers can't do. Another differentiator: EyeEm is available as a free download through the App Store and Google Play, as well as Windows Marketplace (Instagram isn't currently available on the latter).

EyeEm offers a full desktop client, including the ability to upload your images from the web.

Further improvements are already in the works.

“The app is far from being completely finished, we still have lots of ideas,” Matusek said.

“We are reworking our camera, which means there’s probably going to be new filters, new functions to filter pictures, so there’s lots to be expected in the area of processing your pictures.”

EyeEm is also focusing on helping its users connect in the real world. While EyeEm users have been gathering for meetups – a chance to meet face-to-face with other users and typically take a photo walk together – for some time, EyeEm will also soon introduce an EyeEm ambassador program to expand the program further and establish stronger local EyeEm communities.

A third Photo Hack Day event is also being planned for early 2013. The event, which EyeEm recently hosted for the second time around last month, brings together both creative and developers for a 24-hour hackathon to conceptualize photography-related applications and projects.

“In the developer community, it’s a proven concept,” Matusek explained.

This year’s winning project happened to be one Matusek worked on himself with other developers. Helmut would be an Android app that converts analog film negatives into positive digital images. Whether the prototypes conceived during the event are actualized or not, EyeEm staff are enthusiastic about the possibilities. 

“We believe that we're at the beginning of a revolution in photography,” Matusek said. “In two to three years there won't be many digital compact cameras around any more, most people will use their smartphones as their primary device to take and share photos with. More photos will be shared online than were ever shot in history before. Photography becomes a tool to communicate, explore and discover your world. This is an exciting time and, with the vision and technology that's behind EyeEm, we think we can be a part of it.”

As Instagram skyrockets into the social stratosphere with 100 million users sharing more than 5 billion images, the medium may feel overwhelming to some. EyeEm has piqued our interest by narrowing the scope of what users see through clever algorithms behind its Discover feed.

Let us know what you think about EyeEm? And how about other platforms – have you tried tadaa? Streamzoo

 

Comments

Total comments: 6
s2art

Well here we are 3 weeks later, I'm still unimpressed by the UI of Eyeem, and the fact that tagging is "forced" on you. Currently however; I'm cross posting on the odd occasion, so Eyeem users get to see my original shots without the crop.

0 upvotes
s2art

I do like the fact that I don't need to consider the square format as part of the editing process, but I do find the way EyeEm organises its feeds a bit overwhelming, will revisit for a few days and see what eventuates.

0 upvotes
Isca

I tried Instagram but it's a bit limiting, the current favourite is Tadaa. The filters and editting features are far more comprehensive while not offering the full range of Photoforge or Snapseed say. That said, most shots tend to enter a few different apps anyway so no big deal there. Tadaa seems to offer a real community too and I think is the most popular sharing site in a few parts of the world. I tried EyeEm but wasn't impressed.

0 upvotes
dcphotokat

I used EyeEm as an alternative to Instagram (I use the Android platform) and found it to be a good app. It works pretty well with my camera apps (yes, I have a few).

Now that it's on Android, I've also used Instagram; mainly because I have friends and loved ones on their community. Right now, it's pretty much neck and neck.

I haven't used Streamzoo at present.

0 upvotes
Doug Pardee

I haven't tried EyeEm or tadaa (tadaa isn't available for Android anyway). I used Instagram for a couple of months, and now I've pretty much switched to Streamzoo. Streamzoo beats Instagram in just about every way except for the size of the established community. Or unless you need to upload to FourSquare, which Instagram can do and Streamzoo can't.

Personally, I think Streamzoo's little game of points and badges and stuff is silly, but I simply ignore it. I'm sure that there are people who do like the game.

If you need "the original," then Instagram it is — nothing wrong with it. Otherwise, I recommend taking a peek at Streamzoo.

0 upvotes
Richard Uchytil

More isn't always better. Instagram is nice because very quickly I can take the photo, run through the few options, find one I like & post it. When I've used the other apps I find myself going through the tons of options they have and it taking me MUCH longer to post the photo. That's not saying EyeEm or the others are bad, I do like them! For me personally it's HOW I post photos with my phone. I'm usually doing something that I want to share quickly to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram is the easiest way (for me) to do it. :)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 6
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