Streamzoo takes aim at Instagram and Picplz with new pro features

Streamzoo takes aim at Instagram and Picplz with new pro features

Streamzoo today released version 1.5 of its free photosharing tool, which is available on Android, iPhone, and as a Web app. Streamzoo has broad platform support, with easy sharing in Facebook, Twitter, and now Tumblr. Streamzoo also makes it easy for users to search for shared photos by hash tag, as well as to share and upload videos, and its interface makes it fun to surf through random photos–though there seems to be an inordinate number of dog and cat pics.

Mobile photos are the new status updates, says founder Ram Ramkumar. Rather than simply share the mood of the moment with a 140-character string of text, we can easily disseminate an image to our online community with a quick snap. With the iPhone 5 predicted to have an 8 megapixel camera, the ability to take and share photos on-the-go will almost certainly attain greater prominence in our lives.

By adding cross-platform support, and a web app to boot, Streamzoo hopes to leverage this trend and go after photo sharing incumbents such as Picplz and Instagram, which had 5 million users and more than 150 million photo uploads by the beginning of August, and which only works on the iPhone. Ramkumar says that the big daddy of them all is Facebook, which he hopes to both take on and leverage on the road to mass adoption. It could work, though when Facebook unsuccessfully bid to acquire Instagram, the social media giant just had designers create their own photo filters instead. But it’s not all about code.

From a purely technological standpoint, Streamzoo has got it nailed. With its update, the app now offers a wider range of image filters such as Toy Hipster and Vienna, as well as other photo modification manipulation features that are available on paid photo sharing apps such as Hipstamatic and Camera Plus. But when we want a drink, we don’t go to the best bar, we go to the one where we know our friends are. This is how it works with technology, and why Facebook doesn’t always win, even when it directly copies what is popular.

What I’d like to see from Streamzoo is some form of sharing photos that blows away the competition, and leverages what Ramkumar calls the “elastic social graph.” This means that when people’s interests coincide, communities form naturally. Why app Color flopped after launch was not because it was under-capitalized (with $41 million in startup funding), but because it assumed that people who had been in the same location during a given period of time shared some kind of affinity. It would seem this is not the case. But people who enjoy taking pictures of yarnbombing have something in common right off the bat.

With 50,000 users across platforms, Streamzoo has an uphill fight ahead if it wants to unseat any of the incumbents. It’s not an un-winable battle by any stretch, but one that’s going to take a lot of heart and tenacity. Streamzoo is a spinoff from ringtone site Phonezoo, which Ramkumar says is profitable, but not necessarily in a growth area, so hopefully he and his team have what it takes to get the job done once and for all.

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