Moment.me, a startup that debuted its automatic, social albums application for iPhone this past fall, has made its way to Android. The app allows users to combine not only photos, but also video, as well as updates from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and Google+, into one album. These albums are also augmented with content shared by friends and others who posted content at that same place and time.
It’s still somewhat up in the air whether or not people want personal diary-like collections of multimedia instead of more standard photo albums, but the part of Moment.me’s app that has legs is where it does the work of creating albums for you. Using its proprietary matching technology, the app organizes content shared across social media, while still respecting users’ original privacy settings on the networks it pulls from. This content ends up in albums auto-titled things like “Friday with Sarah Perez,” “Wednesday with 29 ppl,” or “Thursday with 54 ppl @ place/location….”, e.g.
The Android app includes all the same features that were previously introduced on iPhone. For example, users can view their own personal feeds, friends’ “moments” (as these feeds are called), nearby moments, and popular moments trending worldwide. However, the Android app also introduces some new features, too, including “Start a Moment,” which lets users have more control over their albums. Using this option, you can start and title the album yourself, invite friends to contribute, apply photo filters, and upload photos directly from Android’s photo gallery.
These features will come to the iPhone version soon, the company says. It also notes that over the past six months, Moment.me has scanned 1.6 billion images from 200 million people and 7 million locations worldwide. 150 million moments have been created, and hundreds of thousands are added daily.
The Auto-Album Challenge
That being said, the Tel Aviv-based app is not ranking highly in the U.S. Apple App Store, where it’s not currently in the Top 400 for either “Photo & Video” or “Social,” according to Distimo. It has a presence in a number of markets worldwide, and is currently the top 100 “social networking” in 3 countries, but none are key regions in terms of scale (Malta, Philippines, Bermuda), per App Annie.
Moment.me, while clever, is up against several competitors in this newly forming, and challenging, “automatic album” space. In recent months, this niche has included startups like SnapJoy (exited to Dropbox in December), Everpix, ThisLife (exited to Shutterfly in January), PictureLife, Woven, Tracks, PhotoSocial and Bump’s Flock, to name a few. Each of these are (or were) attacking the challenge of having too many photos in their own way.
Flock is doing fairly well here, ranking in the top 100 in 24 markets for “photo and video” – which actually speaks a bit to the issues that Moment.me faces. Because it’s doing all the work for users, who only have to sit back and browse through the end product and optionally share the album back out to their social networks, Moment.me hasn’t had the engagement levels needed to boost its traction. That’s clearly why the company prioritized album creation in this release – it needs some activity that will draw users in. Flock, meanwhile, builds albums for you, but continually prompts you to share more and add friends. (Surprisingly, it does this without the usual icky app spam feel, too).
But getting users to start albums in an app, and then invite friends to join, is a challenge that hasn’t easily been solved in the past, no matter how much money you throw at the problem. At the end of the day, these type of companies/technologies may do better serving as features added to users’ already massive photo archives in the cloud. That’s why it makes sense that they’re being acquired by Dropbox and Shutterfly, and why Facebook, Flickr, and Google should be interested, as well.
Moment.me for Android is available here in Google Play.