People love photo albums, but they hate making them.
That’s what Blake Williams has come to realize in the months following Keepsy’s launch. You may recall back in December of last year, the startup launched as a way to create tangible photo albums with all of your friends using Facebook. It’s a good idea. But again, there’s a barrier to entry. So now Keepsy has a new product to alleviate that problem.
“Instant Albums” hooks into your Instagram pictures via their API and in seconds build you a complete photo album. Once you give them your Instagram credentials, Keepsy pulls in what it considers to be your 35 (or so) best pictures and organizes them for you into this book.
Even untouched, the end result is pretty great.
How do they determine your best Instagram photos? It’s a relatively simple algorithm that combines the use of popular photo filters with the number of likes each picture received. Time-stamps are then used to place similar pictures close to one another so that page clusters make sense.
Of course, you can alter your books to add more photos, take some away, tweak/add the captions (Keepsy will auto pull-in your Instagram picture captions), rotate others, add in different backgrounds, etc. This is all done via a web-based editor that’s simple to use. It’s all just dragging and dropping.
Once you have the album you like, you can share it digitally on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Or you can order a hard cover physical book starting at $29.99 for 30 pages. Williams notes that this is 10 more pages than Apple gives you for that price point for photo books made through iPhoto. (Each page is an extra $0.99.)
Once created, books should take anywhere from 5 to 10 days to get to the person you’re sending them to via FedEx. Unfortunately, the service is going to be U.S.-only for the time being. But Williams hopes to expand quickly.
I’m looking at one of the books right now that Williams threw together for me to show me what they look like. It’s great. It’s a perfect keepsake and/or gift for a variety of occasions. And again, the key: simple to make.
So why focus on Instagram for this new product? Because the photo sharing app is the hottest among the new trend of photo services that are all about quick captures taken on the fly. Williams wanted to make a photo book service that reflected that ease.
“The process of creating an album on conventional sites is cumbersome, slow and usually pretty canned. You may end up with a decent looking album, but you dread the hours of input it takes to create one,” Williams notes. And the space is still a $1 billion market that’s growing.
Williams notes that this Instant Album roll out is just the first of many that will hit in the coming weeks all aimed at making photo album creation simple, fast, and fun. As someone who has spent hours making a photo album online before, I very much welcome this change of pace.