Stepcase, the Hong Kong based-startup behind the 7.5 million-strong photo community Step.ly, is launching a photo viewer tailored for Sina Weibo, named Chaopin to provide users with consistent, intuitive and light-weight photo-viewing experience. According to Leon, founder of Stepcase, the idea of creating Chaopin stems from an experimental concept to create, design and develop an app in just two weeks to meet Chinese users’ needs of browsing Weibo pictures.
The Chaopin team holds a unique perspective on the China market, which can be boiled down to a few theories. First and foremost, the busy city life keeps Chinese people from taking photos in the same way that people in the West do. Second, cities are sprawling and those who regularly access social media have less interest to take/share photos. Third, people like to consume and re-share photos.
The application is designed to aggregate fashion photos and arranges the photos into popular and new streams. When the app is started, Chaopin collects fashion photos shared from Sina Weibo and renders the images into a photo collage so that users do not have to scroll through pages and pages of text, or through multitudes of accounts. Tapping on a photo brings it up in full screen where it is easy to flick through all the photos frompage to page. Chaopin also allows people to create personalised collections and to store and arrange their favourite fashion and apparel photos into collections which they can browse or reference later when they are out shopping, or shopping online. It is also possible toget more information about the photo and interact with the photo creator by tapping the follow button or tapping on the photo creators name.
The Chaopin team also realized that viewing street fashion photos seemed quite popular among Weibo adopters even though the viewing experience isn’t that pleasant. That’s why they came up with the idea of curating an application that makes it a beautiful experience to browse street fashion photos posted or shared on Weibo. The application also allows you to discover and follow the people who are sharing these photos, rate the photos hot or not, see the hottest photos, and re-share them all on Sina Weibo.