The makers of the popular social app for weddings, WedPics, is today launching a new app for social-photo sharing in an effort to retain customers after the big day has wrapped. The sister app, simply called “Photo,” is meant to serve as an extension or companion to the company’s flagship application, offering couples and their guests a way to continue to take and share photos related to future life events, big and small, including family gatherings, birthdays, baby showers, and more.
The idea for a second app was actually the result of user feedback, reports WedPics co-founder and CEO Justin Miller, as the company’s number one question from customers was whether or not there was a WedPics-like app for other occasions. In addition, the startup has been facing the same challenge that any of those in the weddings space also have to confront – customer churn. A few months after the wedding is over, the photos have been shared and printed, users drop off of the app.
To date, WedPics has seen over 4 million users on its platform, and currently has 1 million active customers, but it’s always on the hunt for more.
“The flaw with WedPics is that we have a limited amount of time with our users,” says Miller. Meanwhile, the company was also seeing a small number of customers – around 2-3% of its user base – using the WedPics app for things other than weddings. “It seemed like a natural extension to WedPics to continue that relationship,” Miller explains.
Though similar to WedPics in some ways, the new Photo app is its own entity. While it still offers a feed and features large image thumbnails in its user interface, the app’s focus is more on the individual user, as opposed to the wedding.
Similar to other collaborative photo album apps on the market, Photo lets you create private, collaborative albums which you can invite others to join via email or text. However, where it’s slightly differentiated from some of its competitors is that it also lets users with digital cameras upload those photos through a web interface at PhotoApp.com. (And yes, in case you’re wondering, that URL is the reason why the WedPics team picked a fairly generic name for its new app. The URL alone was seeing 200,000 searches per month, before they snapped it up.)
In addition, notes Miller, the company believes in its ability to compete with other collaborative photo album apps thanks to its experiences running WedPics. That is, instead of trying to hit the market and grab the attention of a new user base, the company is reaching out to WedPics customers, past and current, with the hopes of converting them to the new app now that the wedding is over.
This began yesterday with an email to the entire WedPics user base, and 24 hours later, Photo has gained over 2,500 users who are uploading, on average, 10 photos apiece. Prior to that, Photo had been in live beta tests for just a few weeks.
The team also has extensive experience in marketing and retargeting, thanks to the time spent with WedPics, where they learned how to lower user acquisition costs while reaching the right demographics on social networks like Facebook and Pinterest.
“We understand the proper way to bring something to market, not only from a [user interface/user experience] standpoint, but also from a marketing standpoint,” says Miller. Plus, he adds, the app isn’t just another generic photo app. “We’re bringing something to market that is an extension of WedPics. It’s the natural movement from the wedding to everything after the wedding – it moves into Photo,” he says.
Despite the need to grab new customers all the time, WedPics is still doing well, pulling in around $60,000 to $70,000 per month in revenue, thanks to its photo-printing feature. Next year, it will also begin introducing retailers to the WedPics customers base, while charging for highly targeted views those retailers will receive. In time, the company could introduce similar revenue streams into Photo.
The Raleigh-based startup, a team of 29, has raised $9.85 million to date and is nearing the close on a couple million more.