Divvyshot, a new Y Combinator company that makes sharing photos between groups very easy, has just launched in private alpha. The site allows groups of users to share full-resolution photos collaboratively both through online galleries and using native clients that will launch in the next few weeks. There are currently 700 invites available, which you can grab here.
Divvyshot albums can be edited by multiple users, and can be set as private (only allowing designated friends to upload photos) or public, which lets anyone upload their photos to the album. All photos are presented at a fairly high resolution on the site, and are also available at their original quality for download (you can also download entire albums at a time as .zip files).
Once the site’s native clients are released (they’re coming for both Mac and Windows), users will be able to simply drag their photos into a designated folder on their desktop, and they’ll be automatically uploaded to the online group albums and to every other group member’s native client.
Founder Sam Odio says that he hasn’t settled on a monetization plan, explaining that he has considered going the SmugMug route and charging for bandwidth/storage. But he’s also thinking of trying to generate revenue by appealing to certain target demographics and then selling them highly relevant customized goods. For example, he believes that Divvyshot will likely appeal to Sorority girls, who may be eager to share their photos between close friends but not on social networks like Facebook. Divvyshot could capitalize on this demographic by selling personalized items (perhaps branded with the sorority’s logo) that featured their photos.
Divvyshot looks nice and seems to work well, but it’s going to have no shortage of competition. There are already quite a few photo sharing sites that allow for group collaboration, and services like Apple’s MobileMe allow for photo sharing through desktop clients (you could even conceivably use something like Dropbox). That said, if it can effectively separate itself by offering a more intuitive (or cheaper) service, it may be able to carve out a niche.