Summary:

It may be smaller than its Facebook-owned rival, but EyeEm is rapidly building up support for its discovery-focused photo-sharing service — and hopes to continue with a newly released Windows Phone app and a heavily revamped web service.

flo meissner, eyeem

While the dust settles from Instagram’s silly-money takeover by Facebook, rival photo-sharer EyeEm is developing its own service as quickly as it can.

It may not have Instagram’s user numbers, but what EyeEm does now have is wider platform reach. On Wednesday the Berlin firm’s Windows Phone app came out, through a close tie-in with both Microsoft and Nokia.

The release means EyeEm is now available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and the web, which makes for two more platforms than its biggest rival can manage for now.

“Since starting EyeEm, our vision has been to make photography accessible to anyone, anywhere, no matter what device they are using – to release great photos from peoples’ smartphones and onto a place where they can be appreciated by anyone,” CEO Florian Meißner said.

Instagram doesn’t have a Windows Phone app yet, but let’s be honest, that’s no biggie right now. EyeEm’s proper web service — which received a total makeover less than two weeks ago — is the real differentiator versus its biggest rival.

Why? Because EyeEm has a strong focus on discovery and semantic tagging, which means collaboratively organized, thematically arranged mega-albums.

This takes EyeEm beyond being an Instagram clone (despite its 14 pretty filters) and more into the territory of Flickr or even Pinterest. Ultimately, it could even offer a crowdsourced stock photo service.

All that’s needed are the user numbers, which EyeEm steadfastly refuses to share. I understand part of that’s down to the company waiting to see if their recent influx of Instagram refugees levels off or continues to gather speed, but still: those numbers are critical.

The service is great and many users are passionate, but now we need to know how ready that community is for future expansion.

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