Loom, a simple but well-built photo-sharing app targeting the mainstream, has been focused on building something of an iCloud alternative which also helps users to free up disk space on their smartphones or iPads. Today, it’s taking another step closer to that larger goal with the introduction of video support in Loom. Before, the app was able to store, optimize and sync photos between devices, and now it can do the same for video by generating multiple versions of the video for quicker playback.
When you upload either a photo or video to Loom, the company saves different versions of the file alongside the original, which are smaller in size, thanks to reduced resolutions. Users browsing through the thumbnails within Loom’s app won’t be able to the tell the difference, of course, due to the device’s small screen.
With photos, that means Loom can store some 200 times more photos on a mobile devices than before, via the default gallery. And it allows users to wipe out their Camera Roll and free up valuable disk space, while also being assured that their photos are backed up, safe and accessible from any iOS device or the web.
Now with video support, Loom will also save smaller files. When you begin to playback the video, the stream will start at low resolution, so it begins to play immediately. Shortly after, it will switch to medium, then high-resolution when it has buffered enough. It’s a similar experience to what you have today with Netflix, for example. Or, as Loom CEO Jan Senderek describes it, it’s essentially “a secure, fast, and personal version of Netflix.”
In addition to the added video support, Loom has also redesigned its website with an improved layout, easier organization tools, larger images, and faster browsing and scrolling. Users can upload videos from their computers or external drives, too, through Loom’s Mac app.
The company offers a freemium service, with 5 GB of storage available for free. Paid storage starts at 50 GB for $3.99/month, then goes up to 250 GB for $9.99/month. That’s more competitive on pricing than Dropbox, which is also popular for photo storage, but pricier when compared with the massive free photo storage services provided by Flickr, Google, and Facebook. Also like Dropbox, Loom now has a referral program which allows users to earn up to 5 GB of space for inviting friends to join.
Senderek declines to provide user numbers for now, but would say that on a good day, Loom sees a million items uploaded. They’re also seeing a free to paid conversion rate above 4%, he adds.
The service is straightforward to use, and targets a mainstream user base who may be confused over how Apple’s iCloud works – which, let’s be honest, confuses even the savviest Apple followers, too.
The updated version of Loom is available for download here.