Sometimes a night or an event isn’t quite memorable enough without a complete photo album to go along with it. And odds are, your friends and family all have a set of images from the same event floating around on their respective Facebook accounts – and some of these photos might be out of your reach. Kaptur, a social photo discovery platform, makes it possible to collect all of your and your friend’s photographs from an event and port them into your own album, collectively all of the image memories you want and need from a single night or event.
It’s not hard to see why Kaptur is embraced by its users. Photo-sharing has exploded, and it doesn’t hurt that the app itself is free. But while the user experience of the site and mobile app isn’t anything to brag about, Kaptur is doing something right to hit the user milestone it recently did.
Kaptur has one million users and has helped collect photos from over 10 million different events. Kaptur founder Tejapaul Bhatia announced that Kaptur, formerly exclusive to the Web, and recently for iPhones and iPads, has been recently picking up steam in the last six months with traffic doubling. The iPhone and iPad app have collectively garnered 250,000 downloads so far.
The company’s core feature is its patent pending technology that’s able to aggregate and organize friend’s photographs from social networks. Once the photographs have been collected into an album, users can share it with friends and family through a customized URL. Kaptur avoids tooling the app with bells and whistles so it’s incredibly foolproof. While the results might be simple enough, the process is one of the more awkward we’ve put ourselves through.
From the get go, you should know that the iPhone is a limiting experience – opt for the desktop or iPad if possible. For now, users are required to sign up and sign in with Facebook, which is the only social network integrated into Kaptur for now. Then they’re introduced to a page with Kaptur’s motto and a menu labeled “Get Started.” This box is where all the navigation happens. You can create new albums by selecting new events based on a date or an album that’s housed on your own Facebook profile, and Kaptur will then give you the option to pull in albums from specific friends or cull your friends’ pictures to find relevant albums. If you’d like friends to contribute to the album, you can invite them to collaborate.
The technology is admittedly powerful enough that it’s able to recognize and suggest similar events no matter how far back the event took place. If you’re feeling adventurous, Kaptur offers an option to collect and display a random event. To view images in succession, there’s an option to view photos in a slideshow. And you can also download the albums should you wish to keep a digital copy on your computer.
The app on the iPhone has kinks to work out. For one, because the desktop app has been ported to fit the smaller screens of the iPhone and iPad devices, Kaptur been shrunk to fit the smaller screens. It’s a chore to navigate or even use for that matter. For the best experience with Kaptur on the iPhone, hold your phone horizontally since this zooms into the app. Sharing, while a feature on the iPhone, doesn’t really work as intended. This is because the custom URL that Kaptur provides is meant to be copy and pasted, but unfortunately the screen size is too small for my fingers to be able to select the URL and copy it in the first place. And viewing the photos by swiping on the iPhone isn’t smooth like flipping through pages on Flipboard.
While there’s room for improvement, Kaptur is undoubtedly growing with $2 million raised from investors, and has inked partnerships with names and brands including Beyoncé, Red Bull, EMI, Sony, Vera Wang and others. And one million users is nothing to shrug at - hopefully it translates into money spent on refining the user experience, and more fingers crossed, we’ll soon be able to pull in photos from apps like Flickr and Instagram in a future iteration.