Pablo by Buffer

Create engaging images for your social media posts in 30s

Discussion

most upvoted
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Joel Gascoigne — Co-founder/CEO, Buffer
You guys are so fast :) Excited to see Pablo on PH, what a privilege.

Images on social media are something we've been observing and making use of ourselves at Buffer for a long time now, and some time ago we published data about Tweets with images getting 150% more Retweets.

We wanted to help people benefit from images more easily by creating a tool with the same simplicity in mind that we often hear as a reason for people using Buffer for scheduling their posts. Here's our MVP :)

I've not been all that involved in Pablo, it's been an inspiring effort from @brian_lovin, @patrikward, @sahir_memon, @kevanlee and @leowid.

I must say, we still feel we're pre product / market fit (or at least not certain of the fit) with Pablo, and we're working hard to learn and move towards a great mini product people can get a lot of value from. We've done a lot of more private customer development and just today we decided to roll it out more widely and send some traffic from a few places in our app and on our blog, so we can give the product 'oxygen' and learn more.

I think you guys are probably the best group of people we could ask for help with getting Pablo to product / market fit. We'd love your thoughts on what we could improve, things that stand out, things that are missing or things we have that are unnecessary :)

Also, ask me anything! (update - heading to sleep now here in Sydney, my co-workers around the world will be checking the comments :)
Joao Carvalho — Head of Design & UX
@joelgascoigne Been looking for something like this, glad Buffer solved it :)

One suggestion/idea in terms of UX: give more CTA to the upload image button since I was searching for a way to upload a image and I confused the upload icon as a image himself.

Keep shipping!
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@joelgascoigne @johntheoak fixing this now! Thanks Joao :D
Thomas K. Running — Nomad, Teleport
@joelgascoigne @johntheoak I didn't see the upload icon at first either
Pedro — Co-founder @ Landing.jobs
@joelgascoigne Great name!
Dharmesh Shah — Founder and CTO, HubSpot
@brian_lovin @patrikward @sahir_memon @kevanlee @leowid @joelgascoigne Nicely done. I've tinkered with variations on this several times. Simple, but useful.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@patrikward @sahir_memon @kevanlee @leowid @joelgascoigne @dharmesh thanks for the thoughts Dharmesh! Definitely give a shout if you have any ideas or feedback here :)
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
I've been waiting for the Buffer team to release something like this.



It's a good MVP and I'm looking forward to seeing how this is incorporated into the Buffer Chrome extension (a one-click option would be nice). While these artistic image + text photos are beautiful, in most situations I'd prefer to use a hero image pulled from the site I'm sharing or a screenshot of the page itself, similar to this tweet of mine. Is this something you're considering, @joelgascoigne?
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@joelgascoigne @rrhoover thanks Ryan! So glad to hear those ideas - integrating with an extension seems like a powerful next step if we're able to validate this product and reach P/M fit! I'll keep you posted :)
Derek Shanahan — Pub Strategy @ SuperRewards
@joelgascoigne @rrhoover @brian_lovin Would love a screenshot of the link I'm sharing. +1
cedric deweeck — Founder of Slide.li
This reminds me a lot of http://www.tryspruce.com/, have been using it a lot lately. Nice to see that buffer has something similar now!
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@knoddecee Spruce is a wonderful product, they've done a lot of things really well! We're excited to build something that will work really well right alongside Buffer :)
Romain Cointepas — ex-Head of Mobile & TV, Dailymotion
@knoddecee @JeremyZ123 Yes, exact same layout. Would love to hear from Spruce creator @realscottmcleod
Scott McLeod — entrepreneur, artist, designer
@knoddecee @brian_lovin Love seeing Spruce as an inspiration! Look forward to see you guys expand on helping creating and share better content online.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@knoddecee @realscottmcleod thanks for mentioning this! It's funny because we tried a few different layouts, but nothing felt right given screen sizes and the constrains of having a canvas + tools.

I imagine the folks at Spruce went down some similar lines of design and we just came to the same conclusion about what *feels* best - definitely inspired by what Spruce has done though, so I definitely don't want it to seem like we're taking credit for a layout :)
Scott McLeod — entrepreneur, artist, designer
@brian_lovin Yeah, I understand the design problem around layout and canvas issues, considering I was the designer on Spruce :-) We tried quite a few different ways to approach this also.
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Marc — Hackerpreneur Mag & Letterlist.com
So slick.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@marceglon Thanks Marc!!
Jeremie Berrebi — Investor/Entrepreneur, 300+ investments
Very nice idea :)
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@jberrebi thanks Jeremie! We've discovered a lot of wonderful tools like this in the past few months but realized some of the potential there is to have this exist alongside Buffer! We're excited to see where things go from here :)
What is the main difference between this one and https://shareasimage.com/, besides the option to upload your own picture, browser extension etc. And how do you think you would position yourself different on the market?
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@jcvangent good one! SAI is an awesome tool - I actually just added them to our /extras page yesterday (https://bufferapp.com/extras)!

They are definitely building a lot of wonderful things - as Joel mentioned above, we're still pre-market fit with Pablo. This means we're still doing a boatload of customer development to learn as much as possible about the people who might need this tool. Ideally we can provide a really wonderful solution to exist alongside Buffer :)
@brian_lovin ok interesting to see where this is heading and how it will differ or doesn't differ in the future from the guys from Share As Image..will keep an eye on this one.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@jcvangent definitely, thanks for following along Hans!
Saijo George — Digital Marketer
@jcvangent @brian_lovin that is a nice list of tools. If you ever need a free ( cc0 ) stock photo site for that list check out : http://allthefreestock.com
Greg Van Horn — LaunchPotato
This is really great. Like someone mentioned above I could see a huge fit as extension. On any page, be able to highlight a block of text, click the extension or right click and then it loads up the tool with all the images on the page, plus access to the addition images in your library. Customize and Buffer!
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Sahir Memon — Full Stack Engineer
@domydeal Such a great idea Greg! Really like the workflow you have laid out. Will be adding this one to our list!
Greg Van Horn — LaunchPotato
@sahir_memon Awesome! Best of luck with this product.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@domydeal love this, thanks Greg!
Lucas Gordon — UI Engineer, WeSwap
This is really awesome! It would be great to have the option to remove the border around the text though.
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Joel Gascoigne — Co-founder/CEO, Buffer
@lucasjgordon wow, great one Lucas. I think that's a bug we need to fix up. Sorry to cause a bad experience with it! If you click outside the text, it should hopefully go away. I think we need to fix it so that it doesn't get inserted into the image if you don't click outside beforehand :)
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@lucasjgordon working on a fix for this now, should be good to go in a jiffy :)
Lucas Gordon — UI Engineer, WeSwap
@brian_lovin @joelgascoigne thanks guys, but it is a very minor detail and otherwise the product is great! Will this feature get included on the iOS app?
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@joelgascoigne @lucasjgordon Oooh, that would be amazing!! We're still pre-product/market fit, so we still have a long way to go, but that would be so cool!
Sean M. Madden — CreativeThunder.co & CreativeTribes.co
Another great idea, Buffer folk — and one that fits beautifully with your core offering. This will definitely make it much easier to share visually compelling content via Buffer.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@seanmmadden Thanks Sean, so happy to hear that! Definitely give a shout if you have any thoughts or feedback for us :)
Rob Williger — CMO MapFig, Copywriting for Non-Mktrs
I just tried this out. Another amazing product from Buffer. It is simple and elegant and really a wonderful way to integrate words and images. Of course., being Buffer it is great the built in sharing tools. Great job and I know I will get. Lot of use from this.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@robertwilliger so wonderful to hear Robert, thanks for the kind words! We're super excited to hear what you think as you start to use Pablo - definitely give a shout if you have any feedback or ideas for us!
Oo Nwoye — Co founder, Callbase
Brilliant. Thoroughly useful! I have had to use memegenerators for this.

I have two contradictory comments/feedback.

1. It seems to me there are too many options. Keeping it simple would help adoption. The old Secret approach may be helpful.
2. Have you thought about allowing people to add their uploaded imaged to the pool of images.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@oothenigerian Hey Oo, thanks so much for these thoughts!

1. Great observation, this is definitely something we want to keep "under control" in terms of providing the most value with the least amount of UI. We might not have quite hit this balance yet, but we're excited to validate some of our assumptions as people start to use Pablo!
2. It's possible to upload a background at the moment by clicking the first gray square in the gallery, although it won't stay there if you refresh. Perhaps this is something we can improve as folks use this repeatedly :)
Elise Ramsay — Head of Community @ Eyegroove
@oothenigerian @brian_lovin I second this motion! Would be great to reuse an image for many messages in a single campaign.
Ashley Read — Editor at Buffer :)
Congrats @brian_lovin, @joelgascoigne and the rest of the Buffer team. Pablo looks great. So simple to use and certainly saves time creating images on Photoshop.

A few bits of feedback:
- Share to Facebook: image size at the moment isn't optimised for Facebook, in the future could you add an option to 'Save for FB' and create an image that fits the FB size guidelines
- Currently the image links away from Facebook instead of opening up as an image from my FB timeline
- Upload an image: could be good to state best dimensions there so people know what size to upload

Brilliant stuff! And all the best with the launch.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@joelgascoigne @ashread_ wow, this is all amazing feedback Ashley, thanks so much for taking the time to write these out! Couldn't agree more about all of your points - I think we have a lot to work on in terms of getting the dimensions right and improving the clarity of how things work for people on the front-end :) We'll try to clean some of these things up right away!
Brian Fanzo — Change Evangelist at iSocialFanz
Easy to use but at the same time customizable and the ability to add to buffer or post to social with one click makes this my go to tool for all quick social sharing graphics. 30% of my 85k tweets include graphics and that number will only increase thanks to this tool!
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@isocialfanz Wow, that's incredible Brian! So grateful that this tool might find a place in your workflow and would love to hear any thoughts you might have, I think you'd have an amazing perspective on this! :)
Brian Fanzo — Change Evangelist at iSocialFanz
@patrikward No worries.. been using Canva & ReciteThis since day one and leverage WordSwagg App and Over on my iphone to create social share and blog graphics... Key for me is customization but not too many options that overwhelm the newbie or turn the tool into a timesuck. I will surely provide feedback and no surprise just like Buffer, Daily and Buffer Biz Analytics this is another awesome tool from you guys that will be a must use for my team and my clients!
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@patrikward @isocialfanz wow, this is so awesome to read, thanks Brian! Definitely keen to see if you have any feedback or any quirks holding you back from using Pablo full-time over the next few days :) Give a shout anytime on Twitter if you want to chat!
Jacques van Heerden — Entrepreneur
Really slick tool guys! Way to go for keeping users interested in utilizing Buffer app for all their social needs.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@jacquesvh thanks Jacques, we're excited to spend more time learning about this one and what problems it might solve for different people :) As Joel mentioned here, we're still pre-market fit, so we're still planning to learn as much as possible during the next few weeks!
Samantha Bell — Founder
Hey you guys - so wonderful to see another great aspect of Buffer. Well done to all.

I've used OverApp, Canva and a few other content creation services and love the idea of this feature integrated in Buffer. Yay!

Pleased to read the box around the text is already being removed :) #agility!

Tried to download image and first one didn't work then tried again and at first when I did space-bar-over-the-image on my mac to see if it worked, it couldn't work out what app to open in then a few moments later I checked again and it was fine. Seemed strange - might be my computer though haven't had this experience with Canva downloads.

The images you've chosen are fabulous. Could this be integrated with deathtothestockphoto.com or unsplash? That'd be a fun collaboration.

Love to see you fly! Good luck, enjoy. Grin widely :)
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@sambe11 thanks so much for your thoughts Samantha! Canva, Over, Spruce and PullQuote are all wonderful tools - but yeah, having this work right alongside Buffer is a really exciting idea :)

We'll take a look into the download issues, the current version is still quite lean in terms of development, so there might be some remaining kinks to work out.

Right now everything is from unsplash, and it would be totally amazing to team up with them!
Scott McLeod — entrepreneur, artist, designer
@brian_lovin Great to see it working alongside Buffer - We @ Spruce thought this was a great fit.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@realscottmcleod Spruce is wonderful, <3 you guys!
Brandon Lipman — Platform & Content @RRE
This is fantastic. I have been doing this manually for the most part. Would love to see this come to Buffer's mobile app.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@lipmanb oh wow, manually! Hopefully this will save you some time Brandon, definitely give a shout if you have any feedback or ideas for us :) Making this work in mobile would be slick as well!
Zack Miller — Managing Editor, Tradestreaming
Very cool. I've been using Spruce primarily because of its simplicity and speed. I can see Pablo becoming part of my daily workflow.
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@newrulesinvest Awesome to hear Zack, Spruce is a great tool! Keen to build something that can seamlessly slip into the Buffer experience. :)
Scott McLeod — entrepreneur, artist, designer
@newrulesinvest Nice to hear you're still an avid Spruce user Zack! Love to hear more if Buffers Pablo replaces Spruce for you.
Juan Olvera — Solopreneur & Front-end developer
Just yesterday I was wondering for a tool like this, I was playing with Python taking screenshots of the site that was going to be shared (using Buffer API), now today I got this, and I am very exited :) congrats!
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@thinkxl Awesome timing, thanks so much for trying it out Juan! Would be keen to hear any thoughts on how it feels for you. :-)
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@thinkxl hehe wonderful timing! Thanks Juan :)
Ali Ahmed — Founder, Dispatch
Congrats @joelgascoigne and the Buffer team.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@joelgascoigne @syedaliahmed thanks so much Ali for your comment, if you have any feedback or thoughts about Pablo at all don't hesitate to give a shout :)
Hillel Fuld — CMO @ZCastApp, Startup Advisor, Blogger
Great idea, beautiful design. Bookmarked.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@hilzfuld wonderful to hear Hillel, thanks! Give a shout if you have any feedback or ideas for us, we're excited to learn more about how this can help different people :)
James Koole — Product Manager, Hover.com
I wonder if they even looked at it on Safari? It's a bit of a mess.
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Brian Lovin — Product Designer, Facebook
@jameskoole thanks for the heads up James! Some of our latest tweaks have definitely broken some alignments, I'll work on fixing these up :)

Edit: most of the Safari quirks should be cleaned up, thanks James!
James Koole — Product Manager, Hover.com
@brian_lovin Quick work! Looks good again.
Lana — Community Manager, Goodbits
I have a soft spot for Spruce but this looks quite nice with a bit more functionality. Would be nice to be able to upload more than one image of your own; it doesn't appear to be able to do that currently. You need to refresh to upload a new image and your previous one is then gone. Besides that, appears to be useful and I could see myself using it!
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Sahir Memon — Full Stack Engineer
@mstopham ooo Lana that is a good one! Curious, were you hoping to use more than one image to be used as a background? :-) Thanks so much for the feedback!

Edit: Lana, were you perhaps referring to having a library of uploads? :)
Lana — Community Manager, Goodbits
@sahir_memon Yes, Sahir, a library of uploads. Some silly people (my hand is forming the shape of an L on my forehead) have *bought* stock photos and it would be nice to tap into those, from time-to-time. It would be nice to sort of A/B test them too -- which one works better for the social share.
Re: "...more than one image as a background.." I think that's a bit too complicated and I would probably jump into Photoshop to stitch or grab different elements from the images to make one cohesive image. Maybe that would be useful to someone though!
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Sahir Memon — Full Stack Engineer
@mstopham Ah yes a library of uploads! That is definitely something we have on our minds. Really great to have some validation from our users :-)
Regarding "....more than one image as a background.." I completely agree. That could get quite complicated and we are striving for simplicity. :) Thanks so much for your awesome and quick response Lana!
Scott McLeod — entrepreneur, artist, designer
@mstopham Lana you're awesome! Glad to hear you've still got a soft spot for Spruce. Look forward to seeing what Buffer does in this space!
Michael Chamkin — Co-founder, Plottio.com
Great product! Easy to use and works effortlessly with Buffer which I use daily.

Would love to have an ability to pick solid backgrounds or even better - input hex colors for the background.
Also, curious why did you guys name it "Pablo"? :)
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Sahir Memon — Full Stack Engineer
@michaelchamkin Thanks for the wonderful words and feedback Michael! Ooo solid backgrounds specially with inputting hex colors is a really great idea! We'll keep this one on our mind! :-)
Ah, good question regarding the naming! We named it after Pablo Picasso ;)
Thanks again for the awesome feedback! Give us a shout if you have any more feedback or ideas!
Marcus Karoumi — Founder - GARDANNE Watches
Love it but why can't a find a direct link to Pablo on the Buffer site yet?
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Joel Gascoigne — Co-founder/CEO, Buffer
@mkaroumi this is a great question Marcus and we'll probably change that soon.

We've been trying to be disciplined about validating and achieving product / market fit with Pablo before we get excited with marketing and spread it. We've learned the hard way before (and had a few successes) that the excitement of a marketing launch can hide some bigger problems with creating a sticky, engaging product. We're completely focused on making something that is super valuable and becomes a daily tool for many people before we start some of the other post product / market fit activities.

We've been quite deliberate about how we've turned our dial on increasing traffic to Pablo in order to get enough users to learn whether we've achieved that fit and iterate fast, before we open the floodgates completely and shout about it. Of course, being on ProductHunt changed that a little for us (an awesome situation for us), so we might need to rethink our approach a little.

Hope that makes sense :)
Marcus Karoumi — Founder - GARDANNE Watches
@joelgascoigne great answer. Thanks. I just have one problem right now:

When I create a pic and download it, it's downloaded as a text file instead of a JPEG or PNG. That means I can't upload it on Twitter later. Is this a common issue?
Swaroop S — CEO , PI Digi Logical Solutions
Easy to use . I like it . So simple and powerful !!!
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