In February 2009, ImageShack launched the Yfrog photo-sharing service, which quickly became one of the most popular ways to share photos on Twitter — back in the day, you may remember, the only way you could share photos on Twitter was through third-party applications such as Yfrog and TwitPic. But in mid-2011, Twitter decided to get into the photo-sharing game after all and in August it rolled out its own internal photo-sharing service through a partnership with Photobucket — which, of course, immediately caused significant damage to the Yfrogs and TwitPics of the world.
You’d think that being burned by a giant like Twitter in such a way might make Levin back away from the social networking space altogether. But it turns out, it really had the opposite effect: Now, he’s going after the space in an even more directly-competitive way.
Today ImageShack is rolling out Yfrog Social, a full-service social networking platform for the web and the iPhone. You can watch Levin talk about the launch and give a demo of the product in the video embedded above.
In short, Yfrog Social looks like a mix of Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, with the high-resolution photo-sharing qualities of an ImageShack or a Flickr. The core differentiators of the product, however, are its ad-free freemium paid business model and completely open API. These two things together, Levin says, mean that developers will be able to make apps that depend on Yfrog social, with no fear of being quashed.
It’s a hugely ambitious launch — crazy, almost. But hey, it could attract a following: In my experience using it, it’s a really beautiful and snappy site, with very thoughtful features for sharing and sorting your contacts. Also, you’ve got to hand it to Levin for not being cowed by the big players who are currently dominating the space. It’s very similar to what Dalton Caldwell is aiming to do with his new direction for App.net. Whether these efforts will be successful remains to be seen, but it’s pretty cool to see people try.
If you want to test out Yfrog Social, you can bypass the waitlist by following this link: http://yfrog.com/invite/techcrunch
ImageShack is a hosting company for online media. It hosts billions of images and videos for users around the world, making it one of the world’s largest independent media hosts. Imageshack.com, the company’s flagship product, makes saving and sharing images and videos free and easy. ImageShack launched Yfrog.com in February of 2009 to offer easy image and video sharing to Twitter. It was launched on top of the same infrastructure that supports ImageShack’s hosting service. For Twitter users,...
ImageShack launched Yfrog.com in February of 2009 to offer easy image and video sharing to Twitter on top of the same infrastructure that supports its hosting service. It allows users to not only share photos and videos on Twitter but also broadcast their lives as it happens. For Twitter users, yfrog is free with no registration required and sharing pictures or videos is as simple as just two clicks. It is designed for real-time, rapid uploads and sharing and...