Fotopedia has made quite a name for itself as one of the leading media consumption apps for travel, but the company (led by former Apple Apps Division CTO Jean-Marie Hullot) is ready to zero in on media creation as well.
In April, the company soft-launched a new app called Reporter, in the hopes that the app’s user base would grow organically. And grow, it did! Fotopedia Reporter has already racked up 300,000 downloads, with a user base that is coming back every single day, says founder Hullot.
Reporter works like this: When you download the iPad app, you have the option to browse through various “magazines.” These magazines are stories (told almost entirely with images and a little text) that were created by other users around a particular event, passion, or just a day in the life.
Creating a “magazine” is just as easy as browsing. Users can choose their photos, select a particular design or theme from pre-created options, and then publish within the Reporter platform or to Facebook or Twitter.
According to Hullot, over 20 percent of the user base are creators as opposed to readers only, which is a solid figure. Consider this: the app has only been available for a couple of months and has already surpassed 100,000 stories on the platform.
But why Reporter? Well, Hullot explained that with the other apps out of Fotopedia, like Heritage, users loved the content but the magazines had to be created by Fotopedia itself. This wasn’t scalable, in the eyes of Hullot.
However, Reporter lets people create the stories themselves, which allows for more variation in content and much more content in general. Clearly, users are taking a liking to the idea of curating their own content, which has been specifically apparent with Flipboard’s launch of personalized magazines.
Since Fotopedia has troves of data concerning the way users interact with content on the iPad and web, Fotopedia was in a particularly advantageous spot when creating reporter. Their data set parameters like the fact that users can only create stories with 10 to 20 pictures in them, because that’s how many images users usually consume from other Fotopedia apps. The data also encouraged the Fotopedia team to take inspiration from Windows 8, “as weird as that sounds coming from a bunch of former Apple people,” Hullot added. “We want the images to be big and central, so that people click in a big way.”
In terms of generating revenue, Fotopedia reporter is working with advertisers to offer a few different ways to promote within the Reporter app. Brands, such as Rolex, can create their very own magazine within the app using all of their own content. However, certain brands might benefit more from aggregating user-generated content within the Reporter app and pulling it into a central story (which happens to be another option for brands).
The Fotopedia Reporter app was updated just this morning to version 1.1, to help users deal with the abundance of content in the app. Feature additions include a “My Feed” section, letting you curate stories to your own interest, the ability to create your own aggregated magazine from your interest, and subscribe to personal magazines. Reporter also hooked in to Flickr so users can pull in their own images for magazines.
The Fotopedia Reporter app is available now on the App Store.