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Ken Leaver, an American who has run Groupon Ukraine for the past 1,5 years up until summer this year, is now on sabbatical working on his own project. Recently he told me about his soon-to-be-launched photo app startup Diarize he co-founded together with Hrish Lotlikar, the partner at EastLabs.
Presented to me as a photo sharing mobile app initially, Diarize is actually a clever way to “train” its users take photos regularly, and I understand the problem Leaver is trying to solve. Beautifully designed Diarize helps people document their lives, encourages them to take pictures at regular intervals and enables their cloud storage in a timeline format. Users get a sound reminder and a notification when it’s time to take a photo (as if the world was not overloaded with photos as it is, I expect you to think). But if you want to go back and look at your year in pictures to remember what you have actually been doing every day, the idea has something in it.
Filters (which are quite basic, for now), location tagging, view by date, social networking and sharing options with varying degree of privacy are also presented or will be shortly available within the app, but its core value, from my point of view, is the ability to take pictures regularly and quickly.
And before you cry out “Path!” just as I did, I have to say that the app works much faster than Path. Let’s say children began a particularly naughty game, and you want to take the photo before they moved on to another activity. With Path it takes time to get to the photo-taking screen. With Diarize, the process requires launching the app, that starts quickly, and shooting the photo.
Whether or not these key two features will make this app spread virally, only time will tell. There is a danger however that to break into niches occupied by Instagram and Path, these improvements may not be enough. Besides both Instagram and Path evolve continuously and may just replicate these features. But I certainly see a value for those eager to document their life in pictures regularly, for examples for mums.
The business model remains a question, although the app will soon offer businesses an opportunity to place adverts according to Leaver. In my humble opinion, a printing of a yearly photobook could be another revenue generator.
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