Get the photos your friends take & never miss a photo again

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Hello Hunters! Shoto has been a project of love, dedication, and hard work and we didn't want to show you anything until we had done much of our homework. We are incredibly excited to be featured on Product Hunt today. @Shoto the easiest way to get all the photos your friends take from times spent together. The app just shipped and is available in English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Hindi. To read more about Shoto and our journey please see this post on medium Thanks again and I'll be here all day answering questions if you have any comments or feedback. Super excited! Sachin PS Big shout out to the team that's worked around the clock Rohan, Kacie, Mark, Jasper, Ram, Sonu, Vikas, Chandan,Sheryl and my awesome co-founders Nick and Saurabh.
@sachinduggal Hey Sachin congrats on shipping! great work from you and the team. I know you have been deeply dedicated to solving this problem of photo sharing for many years now, what are some surprises product-wise that you have uncovered that perhaps differentiate from other photo sharing apps?
@arush @sachinduggal Thanks Arush, it's definitely taken us a long time and I think the biggest take-away was that not many users had a deep interest in sharing photos privately; and rightly so - unlike Facebook and Instagram, private sharing doesn't give you a shot of dopamine (smaller audience, less likely to get 30 likes!). So it seems like (a lot of) work without any benefit. And so the biggest surprise in Shoto product wise is how we switched from trying to get you to share automatically or trying to get you to share to people who were there and instead made it all about the true latent human need, get the photos your friends take, weaving the sharing within the request for photos. In our beta this created a chalk and cheese difference in usage, users almost instantly tapped request because there was the "Fear of Missing Out". And best of all - most of the magic happens in the background - so you don't even need to fire up the app - we let you know when you should come in to see new memories... interestingly we found people jumping into the app almost as soon as they finished a dinner party or a trip - because they wanted to see how many photos friends had taken. Other key pieces: - You can now search for Photos by Location, People and name of album / comments made. So its easy to locate. Even search within the Apple Spotlight. - You can see which of your friends have new photos (taken with you) from the last time you used the app and request them all in one shot. - You can see your friendship together with your friends so a timeline of your times together - this is my favorite hidden treasure. My wife has 2976 photos taken with me -> until I used this feature I never knew and so when I asked for them via the app (one tap) and I got them - it was like reliving a year of memories. - You can publish your albums to the web - like the one we did for the United Nations ->
@sachinduggal ok. Sounds like a lot of features. For me the most interesting is the experience you had with wifey. "Your friends have photos of you on their phones. Tap to see them" is a value prop that resonates with me.
What do you think about Facebook's Moments app?
@chrismessina Thanks for the question - I was hoping you would ask that. I think Facebook has built a brilliant interface that is incredibly beautiful - our apps today attack the problem of pooling photos in a very different way. They are in the business of photo-sharing, we are in the business of photo-getting. Our last beta of Shoto worked on a very similar principle - telling you who was there and getting you to share to them. The problem in this is as I said to @arush - there is a lot of work without any reward or perception of reward - partly because we're all used to the fact that in the "private sharing scope" we will share but no-one will respond. Our approach therefore changed to letting you request, giving you enough confidence that photos actually did exist (we show you the number of photos each friend has from a particular moment) and providing a safe way for you to choose what you want to send as part of your request *you don't have to send your photos. Shoto is also much much more than just sharing. Its both aggregation & consumption by creating a beautiful way to consume your precious memories. Whether its how we group photos, a timeline that lets you scroll up and down; or how we let you search for the albums/photos you may want to see. Friends are also key part of our navigational design, not as elements you share to or request from, but a lens through which you can see the times gone by, like all the activity you may have had with your childhood friend - all visible through our friend profile. On a technical level - Shoto doesn't use facial recognition but instead used machine learning to group photos based on the location data in the photos (or the ones you set at an album level) and matches it up with friends in your social graph (facebook or address book) who have photos. With Shoto, you are always the keeper and holder of your photos, we never own them and you always have the right to delete them.
@sachinduggal thanks! Just curious, do you filter out screenshots?
@chrismessina on Android we filter out screenshots and anything not taken on the phone (within reason) and on iOS we filter out screenshots (specifically all PNGs)
@sachinduggal @chrismessina I was just thinking yesterday about how screenshots can be excluded.
@bradenhamm I think you can do a number of things the easiest is file format and the most robust is exif data. On Android also file location.
Good to see another one on this list still swinging the bat! This is a problem that needs to be solved, and eventually someone will have the perfect formula. Love seeing people continuing to innovate here, even with Facebook and others in the mix.
@mulligan thanks Brendan - given your expertise in this what do you think has been the missing ingredient ?
@mulligan also love the screenshots from the list this was our v1 and we've definitely tried a lot since then
@sachinduggal yeah looking back, saw you first launched in 2012! You're definitely one of the OGs. And sadly, I don't know the missing ingredient yet. Cluster is still growing faster than ever, but it's a different kind of growth than you get with a public app. Great # of retained active users, but very slow to join.
@mulligan Wow that is an awesome list. Testament to a lot of those founders' perseverance. Seems like a product with a specific niche focus is likely to win traction rather than an app that's trying to solve all photo sharing
Great looking product from a great team led by @sachinduggal.
Great app, congrats. Love the timeline feature, makes finding those shared photos easier. This would work great at a wedding. I think this solves a pain everyone has at one point or another - getting photos normally off friends rarely happens (even with good intentions). Looking forward to trying it out!
@pierreventer @stevepyoung Thank you for the post! So you say weddings - I got married earlier this year and we tested an early version of our "events feature" - the results were awesome. We got over 700 photos from guests - and the best thing was these were shots we would never have seen. A key part of our app is to not only sort aggregation but also make consumption beautiful and this is where our Chief Creative Officer @markrolstonargo has been just unbelievable and our lead UX guru @chandan. I can't wait to hear your feedback - and please invite a couple of close friends! The app works so much better that way.
This is a beautiful product and a VERY talented team. I can't wait till all my friends are on it too.