UPDATED. With baseball season around the corner, basketball in full swing and March Madness upon us, Hitpost, a San Francisco-based start-up, is releasing iPhone and Android apps to share photos of sports events. You can take pictures at the sports event you are attending, annotate it with a pithy (or even a crazy) comment and share it with your friends.
Hitpost has also developed a website as a complement to its service, and unlike most mobile apps, which seem to be based on Amazon Web Services, Hitpost is based on Google’s App Engine cloud platform.
In January, the company launched its web platform, and later developed “SI Snapshot” in partnership with Sports Illustrated: a Chrome extension that displays professionally snapped pictures with a Flipboard-like feel. However, the new mobile apps are key to company’s future.
Aaron Krane, co-founder and chief executive of the eight-person company, is of the opinion that fans are going to take pictures of, say, a dunk shot while sitting on their couches watching their big screen televisions.
I agree; the focus of apps like Hitpost isn’t the photos, but rather, sharing the experience with one’s social circle. The sharing of experiences is part of the evolution of the social web, and we’re going to see more apps and services adopt this type of experience.
These immersive and collaborative experiences are stronger in the world of sports, which explains why we watch the Super Bowl together with friends or go to sports bars to watch games. Wednesday, Sports Illustrated launched Front Row, an app that allows you to get up-to-the-minute scores and pictures and tweets from SI writers on your mobile device.
Hitpost is on the other end of the spectrum, and is more participatory. That said, Hitpost, as it stands today, is a simple and easy-to-use application. A simple camera icon lets you take a picture and post a comment and the picture. Another icon lets you scroll through the timeline, while a third icon gives you access to a menu of teams and sports you might be following.
This is a highly functional app, but Aaron and his cohorts should try to build a layer of fun comments on top of the app. Sort of like – Great shot. Oh! Yeah! You know, all that crazy stuff we say when watching sports and having a beer buzz. Not that I know anything about that kind of thing ;-)
Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed the name of the app as Hipshot. The correct name is Hitpost. – Ed.