The iPhone Gets Its Own Photo Sharing Site

Natuba is a new photo sharing site that targets iPhone users with an emphasis on mobile uploading. It comes from Richard Yoo, a former CEO of Rackspace and Serverbeach.

iPhone users with Natuba accounts can add their snapshots to the site by emailing them to a special address. Descriptions can be included in the subject line and all photos are injected into a public activity stream. They are also included on one’s profile page and are candidates for the “Surprise Me!” page that randomly displays one photo at a time from the site.

The idea and execution are simple, perhaps a bit too simple. There’s no tagging, not to mention no geotagging (which would be a natural feature for such a service, if only iPhones had GPS already). I’d like to see the site add rating capabilities so the community can surface the best snapshots. After all, highlighting the coolest little encounters from daily life should be the site’s main thrust; no one wants to sift through the mundane.

I’d also like the ability to track my friends’ contributions. And why not throw in a Facebook application for good measure; that way I could display my photos on my social networking page. Oh, and Twitter integration so my contributions automatically get tweeted. Ok, so obviously there’s room for improvement.

Flickr and other photos services, of course, already have mobile upload capabilities via email. And there’s no reason why this site can’t take uploads from non-iPhone devices (you can upload directly to the site anyway). So in the long run it needs to come up with some really cool features or doom itself as just a photo sharing site with marketing spin.

Update: I overlooked a few things here. Natuba does have tagging, an FB app, and ratings. And apparently Twitter integration, too, although I can’t find it anywhere (the Facebook app isn’t mentioned on the site as far as I can tell, either). When I meant “the ability to track my friends’ contributions”, I meant some sort of stream that aggregated all of them. You can check out a particular friend’s profile as things stand, but it doesn’t appear that you view such a stream. (Update 2: surprise surprise, this type of stream is in there, albeit buried quite a bit). Also, the tagging and ratings could be leveraged better, maybe by highlighting them on the homepage.