Albumatic launched a new version of its photosharing app today which co-founder Adam Ludwin said is “redesigned and reimagined from the ground up.”
When Albumatic first launched in February, it was focused on the idea of capturing events with friends in the moment. The idea was conveyed in the promotional video that I included with my initial launch coverage, where someone starts photographing a concert in their garage, which attracts a bunch of other friends to come over and take photos too, and others can track the event from afar.
That approach did draw some users, Ludwin said — nearly 100,000 in its first two weeks. That’s when Ludwin and other Albumatic team members headed off to South by Southwest with the idea that this was the absolute perfect event for the app. But through their interactions with users at SXSW, and by just looking at usage in the app, they realized that their ideas were a bit off.
Most people, Ludwin said, were using Albumatic less to collect photos around big events and more as an “ongoing Pinterest for their life” — a way to organize all of their photos and then share them with friends. Ultimately, Ludwin and his team decided that the app they’d built was more like “a middling app that’s not relevant” and the blockbuster that they wanted to build.
“We’re going to keep trying until we find the real product-market fit that reaches tens of millions of users,” he said. “The photo album as an object in itself … we still feel there’s an opportunity to own that on your phone, and we want to give it another shot.”
So the new version of the app strips out all the location services and the idea of only building albums with people nearby. Instead, you create albums, you follow friends to see their albums, and you invite them to collaborate on certain albums. Albums can be kept public or shared private, and they’re viewable either in the app or on the web.
Here’s a fanciful metaphor: Ludwin compared all the photos that you take to white light, and Albumatic to a prism that divides that light into its component colors. In some ways, Ludwin said he was just trying to build the best app for the use case that the team was already seeing from users, a “Pinterest for your camera roll.” He’s hoping most existing users like the new app, though he admitted that those who are absolutely attached to the old version won’t be pleased.
Ludwin is also sharing the details behind the $4.2 million Series A that was revealed in an SEC filing in March. He didn’t want to talk about the funding then, he said, because Albumatic was in the middle of the aforementioned reimagining.
However, now he’s willing to share that the funding was led by RRE Ventures (where Ludwin is still a partner) with participation from Thrive Capital, SV Angel, Highline Venture Partners, CrunchFund (where TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is a partner), Box Group and betaworks.