Digital picture frames are nice, but they are not for everybody. Y Combinator startup Picwing found that out the hard way when not enough people bought its cool, but pricey, social digital picture frames which constantly updated with photos from the Web. But Picwing learned its lesson and rebooted earlier this year with a much better product centered around making it easier to print and share photos taken on your iPhone.
Picwing’s new product is an iPhone app (there is also an Android app) that lets you pick photos taken on your phone and upload them at full resolution to Picwing’s new Website. Every month, it prints and mails up to 15 uploaded photos to anyone you want. You pay a subscription starting at $5 a month, and once you set it up all you need to do is keep adding pictures via the app or your computer.
The service targets parents who never send enough photos of their kids to their own parents. This service was designed for me. I have thousands of photos of my kids, increasingly they are taken with my iPhone, and I never print them out. The only time I buy photo prints it is to send them directly to my Mom, and I never remember to do it until she asks for more. Picwing is definitely appealing in that I can simply select the best photos on my iPhone, upload them, and it takes care of the rest. Minimum friction, and Mom is happy.
Y Combinator’s Paul Graham who has a one-year-old baby goes so far as to say “Picwing
has changed my life more than any other startup we’ve funded.” He explains why it is appealing to parents with young children like the both us:
The reason this is so valuable for new parents is that you suddenly have (a) lots of things you want to take pictures of, (b) lots of people who want to get them, and (c) no time. If we’d had to mail prints to our families, they would have gotten zero of them.
Yes, he is an investor, but it is true. There is a definite need here. You can sign up to have pictures delivered once or twice a month, and Picwing is offering a special Mother’s Day promotion where you can try it out for free and it will send any pictures uploaded by May 1 to your Mom.