DailyBooth, a San Francisco-based social photo sharing service is making the much-awaited leap from the web to the mobile Internet by launching the final version of its iPhone app. The company had launched a beta version of its app earlier this year. This new enhanced version of the app replicates DailyBooth’s web features such as a live feed, comments and follow/following on the small screen.
“We’ve started over and built this from the ground up,” said CEO Brian Pokorny, who before joining the company was a well-known Silicon Valley investor with Ron Conway’s SV Angel. “In addition to the iPhone, the app will be great for all of the new iPod Touch (devices) launched a few months ago that all have a front facing camera,” he added.
DailyBooth, co-founded by Ryan Amos and Jon Wheatley and initially incubated by YCombinator, was able to raise $1 million in seed funding from the likes of Sequoia Capital, Betaworks and angel investors such as Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake and ex-Googler, Chris Sacca.
Android Coming Soon
The company is planning on releasing an Android app soon. “Android is currently in the works right now,” Pokorny said, pointing out that with more smartphones coming to market with front-facing cameras, it makes more sense for DailyBooth to support them. There has been an explosion in the number of mobile photo sharing applications, with well-known venture capitalists opening their checkbooks for such companies.
Frankly, I have been surprised that DailyBooth hasn’t pushed into the mobile arena more aggressively, a question I posted to Pokorny when I ran into him a few weeks ago. After all, DailyBooth is growing at a rapid clip on the web. This Twitter-meets-Flickr like service is a lightweight social network that has found favor with the younger demographic, one of the main reasons it has grown so rapidly. It works well because it allows folks to easily share their daily lives through pictures and short pithy comments.
Front Camera Revolution
However, as much as it has been successful on the web, it has been noticeably missing on the mobile front, giving opportunity to new mobile-only photo services such as PicPlz and Instagram. Pokorny doesn’t see those services as his competitors, mostly because he sees DailyBooth as a “front of the phone” app” while others are “back of the phone apps.” (Nevertheless, no one can take Instagram lightly, which has been growing at a breakneck speed.)
“The content generated from these apps are primarily objects while the content from DailyBooth is all about people and faces,” he argued. “The user base is also different, as our users are predominantly under the age of 25 and view the Internet as an extension of their lives. They are comfortable with face communication, as many of have grown up with web cams as the norm.”
Just as YouTube is about broadcasting videos and Apple’s Facetime is about communication, DailyBooth is about communication through the medium of pictures. Pokorny said DailyBooth is much more “of a new type of platform for social communication through pictures via photo comments back and forth between users,” versus back-of-the-phone apps, which “offer a broadcast style communication or a window into what your friends are currently looking at.”
I think Pokorny makes a good point, though I wouldn’t call DailyBooth a means of communication. I see it more as asynchronous interaction. I find it fascinating how different demographic groups adapt the Internet to interact differently. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see how successful DailyBooth is on mobile. It certainly has the makings of what I think is a good mobile photo service – it is “a unique and more immersive, two-way service” that is designed from the perspective of the “mobile user.”
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