Camera roll sharing

#5 Product of the DayApril 16, 2015
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Hi Product Hunt! Roll is a new way for close friends to keep in touch by sharing their camera rolls. Here’s how it works: Each time you open Roll, it checks to see if there are new photos or videos on your camera roll *since the last time you opened the app*. To share them, just swipe up. When your friends share photos, you’ll see those too. Because it’s so frictionless, people share photos many times a day on Roll. You’ll see hikes your friends are taking, meals they’re cooking, screenshots they’re snapping, and little peeks into their daily lives. You kind of feel like you’re with them throughout the day. We just put it up on the App Store and we’d love for you to give it a spin! It’s meant to used with the people you know best, so to get the full experience, try adding a few close friends and family members. We’re excited to hear what you think!
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@pdavison great to see the launch! I've been using this app for a few weeks now and have been loving it. The product is super simple and minimal, which is always nice. I'm curious to hear what other variations of the product you tried before? Or was the original idea pretty much in this format from day 1?
@pdavison congrats on the launch paul. Excited to start playing with it.
@pdavison i'm a big fan of roll, congrats on the launch! it's become one of the the few products that i use everyday :)
@andrewchen Thanks so much! I really appreciate your being on the beta and giving us so much fantastic feedback along the way. The first version of the product actually auto-shared your photos with your friends as soon as you took them. So it was actually simpler in a sense, and engagement was great, but it was too scary to ever release. At that point we said "Okay - We have 2 things we need to do. (1) Make it NOT scary, and (2) keep it simple. There is still so much we are figuring up, but we're learning a TON and discovering new use cases all the time.
@anamitra Thanks Anamitra! Just added you. :) Excited to hear your feedback!
Five minutes into using it and I cannot put into words how beautiful the entire experience is. Everything from the app preview video to the subtle animations as well as the snapping that I assume is handled by UIKitDynamics really gives the app a beautiful experience. This app has jumped to my main screen and I'm going to try and get all my close friends on it. Outstanding work, guys. Genuinely blown away.
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@itskathuria Wow - thank you so much! We are printing this comment out and framing it.
I've been using Roll for the past few weeks and love the branding and simplicity. @pdavison - Roll is MUCH different from your location-based app, Highlight, which exploded in popularity a few years ago. Where did the idea for Roll come from and why didn't Highlight work out?
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@rrhoover Thanks! Actually, Roll came out of some work we were doing on Highlight 3.0! With Highlight, our goal has always been to help you learn about the people around you. With Highlight 1.0, our focus was on surfacing mutual friends and interests. With 2.0, we added new bits of context about what the people around you were doing - like whether they were walking or driving, and what music they were listening to. With 3.0, we started thinking “Wouldn’t it be interesting if you could learn about people by seeing the photos they’re taking?” Photos have always been a hugely important part of Highlight, and this had just become technically possible to do with iOS 7. The idea was a bit too crazy to fit into the Highlight product, but it was interesting enough that we kept thinking about it, and eventually decided to prototype it as a separate app. We got a few friends on it and the engagement was really good, so we eventually decided to polish it up and release it. We love Highlight and still deeply believe in the vision behind it, but I think we’re still in the early days of that space! Back in 2012, battery life was an issue. Social norms still have to be established. Hyperlocal distribution is notoriously tricky. It's definitely going to happen, but there is still a lot to figure out!
@rrhoover @pdavison Highlight was ahead of its time. Battery life could not keep up with the app, and this was pre-Tinder where people were not quite conditioned yet to feel comfortable with geo-location sharing. Sonar was another great app like this that would have had more success if it launched today. I actually think Highlight set the stage for apps like Tinder, Happn, etc. Excited to try this out.
@pdavison @andythegiant I agree, it was a little ahead of its time but do you think now (or in the near future) people will be comfortable and want to meet others nearby serendipitously? cc'ing @xsvengoechea from Sonar and @badeen from Tinder.
@pdavison @xsvengoechea @badeen @rrhoover For sure. I think a spring of apps will begin to pop up connecting people with shared mutual hobbies, interests, tastes. I bet @elan_miller also would like to get in on this convo.
@pdavison @badeen @rrhoover @elan_miller @andythegiant I still love the idea of friend serendipity but I think what was missing from our first round of solomoapps was action IRL - i.e., it's great to find others who share similar interests with you, but what do you actually do with that knowledge? Dating and networking are two very actionable next steps when you find shared interests....but what about everyone else? I think we're still early stages in understanding what people want to really connect over, and how.
So when you're sharing with your buddies, are you... (wait for it)... rolling? #eyeroll
@chrismessina and this is why we should have a downvote button. #justkidding #maybe
@chrismessina but wait, whut when it's a roflolling picture? omg options choices whattodonext lmao.
@chrismessina haha ... we resisted using "Roll with friends," "Get rolling," or "Ready to roll" anywhere in the app.
@chrismessina @rrhoover I'm in favor of a downvote button. Not in this instance though. But I'd like to see a shake-up.
@chrismessina @pdavison and by resisted he is nicely saying that i made a motion at the board meeting to require the use of "roll with friends" but it did not get approval.
Cool idea, and I think it'll do well, but I don't need another way to share photos one at a time. I have iCloud, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, tons of others on my phone. My biggest sharing issue is that I need to share MORE photos FASTER. Last Friday, I took ~ 40 photos of my friends at a party. That meant I had to find the best ones to share with everyone there and/or find a way to get everyone's email. Which meant, I didn't share any. Too much work. And how many times do you see people take photos of the same group of people with 2 or 3 phones. Why? Because sharing those photos is such a pain in the ass that they know it's never going to happen, so they double the work and use a second camera. Share more photos faster is the future.
@andrewwarner We couldn't agree more, and that's actually the exact philosophy behind Roll. As you point out, selecting from a traditional grid view feels like work, so most of us just don't do it. Showing photos one at a time might seem inefficient, but we think it makes the experience really fast and focused, and as a result, users end up sharing a lot more. In other words, Roll was not designed to help you pick the top 3 photos of the 40 you took. It's for sharing the other 37 ... and for getting the photos your friends took of you. Thanks for the comment, and excited to hear what you think!