Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
We recently introduced you to the new iPhone app PicYou which aims to steal a little of Instagram’s thunder. While it certainly has its work cut out, the app has gotten off to a good start.
PicYou comes to us courtesy of a small San Francisco based team, Flixya Entertainment, which is also behind Videobam, Snapixel and Imgbox.
Since its launch, just 10 days ago, PicYou has been downloaded 128,000 times and has an average rating of four and a half. While PicYou did have an established online community before launching the iPhone app, its growth in the past few days has been unprecedented.
Speaking with Adam Oliver, Flixya’s CEO, he told The Next Web, “The growth spiked with the launch of the iPhone app. While we’ve seen some consistent use and strong sign ups through the website, the iPhone app has surpassed the total number of existing photos and active users.”
A few more interesting figures from PicYou include 157,000 active users (including iPhone users), and 300,000 uploaded photos. Photos are now being uploaded to the service at a rate of about 2 to 3 images every 5 seconds.
Of course these figures are pretty small in comparison to Instagram’s numbers, which in August put its total users at 7 million, with 150 million photos uploaded, at a rate of 15 photos per second. Instagram does have over a year’s head start on PicYou, having launched in October 2010, but the app has certainly paved the way for competitors who offer anything on top of Instagram’s list of features.
So what is it that sets PicYou apart from Instagram, and other similar apps trying to unseat the number one service from its spot? Adam tells us to expect new and different things from PicYou. “We have some ideas that we’ve implemented into future iterations of this app that move this in a new direction. There’s a lot of room for innovation and we’re focusing on engagement and offering improved social features and ways to extend the use of the iPhone and iPad camera.”
What this means for the end user is a list of new features that could include photo-editing, customised filters and more.
Adam adds, “In addition, we think there’s room for improvement and are very interested in growing this as a marketing platform. Companies and large brands can leverage our platform to tap into new audiences with custom filters and branded frames. We’ve been testing this with a pilot-program over the last six months.”
For all those Android users who are sick of open-ended promises of an Instagram app, PicYou is hard at work to fill that gap, with an Android version on its way soon. But the real question is – can PicYou build the same community its predecessor has? While it has hit the ground running, that’s something we will just have to wait and see.
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