Fly Or Die: Can Batch Find Its Own Path Among The Photo Apps?

Does the world need another photo-sharing app? That is the question John Biggs and I debate in this episode of Fly or Die (watch the video above). We take a look at one of the latest photo apps to hit iTunes, Batch, which launched ten days ago and is currently one of the Top 50 photo apps for the iPhone (currently at No. 48). The mobile app is a new product from DailyBooth, whose CEO Brian Pokorny joins us after we each give our verdicts on the app.

Batch does one thing really well: it lets you group photos together from your iPhone into albums and share them with friends via the app itself, Facebook, Twitter, or email. (Here is a batch I took during the taping of the show). The nice thing about it is that you don’t have to keep on sending links to individual photos. With one link, you can share 10, 20, or 100 photos, and as you keep adding photos to a batch, the album updates automatically.

Biggs thinks the batching feature will become part of Instagram at some point and, thus, you will no longer need Batch. But I disagree. If an app is well-made and fills a need, it can gain its own following no matter how crowded the field. Instagram could add albums, and it should, but that will never be Instagram’s core feature. Instagram is about sharing one great picture at a time. Batch is about capturing events and organizing the photos on your phone into discrete albums.

The sharing model is also key to what makes Batch useful. When you sign on, it automatically matches you with all your Facebook friends already using the app so you can see their photo batches in your stream from the get-go. You can add a comment or thumbs up to any photo, and tag people in the batches you upload. Batches can be private, shared only to your friends in the app, or distributed more broadly to Facebook and Twitter. But you decide what to share on a batch-by-batch basis and who to share it with.

In my mind, Batch is less like Instagram and more like a cross between Path and what Color was supposed to be. It isn’t quite as private as Path and has a simpler way to group photos than Color. Batch strikes a balance in between. Although I do have one feature request. Right now, only the person who creates a Batch can add photos. Other people should be able to add photos to a Batch with the permission of the person who created it—that would make it even more social.