Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Albumatic Is a Photo-Sharing App With Vine Credentials, and You Might Use It

A new photo-sharing app? In 2013? Really?

Yup, really. And if your memory goes back more than a few months, this will one will have multiple echoes from the past: Not only is Albumatic a new photo-sharing app, but it’s a location-specific photo-sharing app. So it’s treading ground that lots of apps, including high-profile flops like Color and Highlight, have stumbled on before.

But this one may still be worth checking out. For starters, the pitch sounds a lot more compelling than its predecessors: Albumatic is designed solely to let friends who are in the same place co-create shared photo albums, using their iPhones. Period.

Okay, there’s a tiny bit more: If you aren’t in the same place as your pals, you can see the photo albums they’ve created. But that’s it. Really. There’s no other social networking going on here, no public publishing, no filters, no nada.

Think of it as a social version of Apple’s shared photo stream. Or the way co-founders Adam Ludwin and Devon Gundry would like you to think about it: Like Facebook, back when Facebook was the thing college kids used to share party pictures, without worrying about what their parents or prospective employers would think.

Ludwin is the other reason to pay attention to Albumatic. Until now, he has been a principal at RRE Ventures, but is stepping away from the VC firm to launch the app; he’ll stay affiliated with RRE, and will continue to manage his existing portfolio. (Ludwin writes in to clarify his RRE relationship: “I am going to continue to manage my existing companies and be part of the RRE team while I focus on Albumatic.”)

Until last fall, that portfolio also included another sharing app you’ve heard about: Vine, the GIF-maker Twitter just launched. Last year, Ludwin helped Vine co-founders Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov get that one off the ground; prior to that, he had worked with the two on Fame, a Twitter app that was supposed to give a single Twitter user a bunch of followers for a day. That one got shut down by … Twitter.

All of which is to say that this one will get a fair bit of attention, and likely quick funding, when they get around to that. What they’re not interested in doing, says Ludwin, is charging for the app, or selling ads on the app. Which means if it works, and they don’t flip it quickly to the likes of a Yahoo or an Apple, they’ll have to figure out how to sell … something.

First things first: No way to tell if people are going to use a social app until they start using a social app. If you haven’t started playing with it yet, here’s a video that won’t provide much information at all, except that the Albumatic people hope that lots of attractive young people will use their product. That’s a real band, by the way, not a Vampire Weekend stand-in. They’re called The Miracals.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post