The team behind group photo sharing application Tracks has launched a new app today called Kanvas. The new app is aiming to create a whole new wave of social self-expression by giving its users the tools to easily make fun, creative, mixed-media projects that they can share with friends.
Until now, Tracks.io has been focused on sharing photos and making them available to friends, allowing people with shared experiences to group them together in things called (surprise!) “Tracks.” After several iterations, however, it realized its users were hacking photoshops and memes and other non-traditional mixed-media assets into their Tracks.
So it decided to try something new — build and launch Kanvas to help users create interesting new pieces of self-expression. What kind of self-expression? Well, it allows users to easily use their own photos or art provided, layer them on top of backgrounds and add stickers and text to quickly build unique new creations that they can share with friends.
The app has been seeded with a bunch of free backgrounds and fonts and stickers and whatnot that people can use to create new memes and images, but there are also premium packs available for those who are feeling particularly ambitious. That means that Kanvas, while free to download, already has a built-in revenue model. According to Singh, the social aspect of the app could make certain stickers and tools viral — i.e. you see a friend using a certain sticker and you wanna buy that sticker pack, too.
The whole thing is designed to be real lightweight and easy-to-use, while also providing a sort of mobile social network for its users to share with. Tracks CEO Vic Singh told me that there were lots of mobile tools for creation or editing mixed media assets, but none of them did a great job of bringing a social aspect in.
The hope is to make Kanvas kind of like an ultra-simple, mobile version of Photoshop that has a social network built in. You’re encouraged, of course, to follow other users, and users can follow you. Users can react with comments or stickers, allowing them to engage with other people’s content. And the Kanvas app connects to all the usual social networks where people are prone to expressing themselves — you know, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. (More are likely to follow.)
While the team will continue to support the existing Tracks product, and doesn’t have any plans to shut it down, Singh told me that the company is very excited by the opportunity it has in mixed media with Kanvas. Tracks, he said, is already pretty feature-complete, after making 26 updates over the past two years of its existence. And so for now, the focus will be on moving Kanvas forward with new features and capabilities.
The startup has raised $1 million in seed funding from investors that include General Catalyst, TMT Investments, Eniac Ventures, AppFund, BHV Ventures, Harbor Road Ventures, Atventure.us, and a handful of angels including Photobucket founder Alex Welch, who will be joining the board.