I love photography—especially mobile photography. I love to take amazing photos on my iPhone and I also love to see incredible photos taken by other people. It’s basically what makes Instagram so appealing. But aside from Instagram, there are some other interesting photo social networks popping up and making a splash. One in particular that has me pretty excited is called EyeEm. What makes it different? EyeEm is a photo community and marketplace, allowing interested smartphone photographers to connect with others, share their work and even get paid for their photography.
With the success of Instagram, why exactly was EyeEm built? Markus Spiering, Chief Product Officer, explains, “EyeEm focuses on giving users something beyond just a like for their photos.” That’s more than just a shot at Instagram. It’s a statement that matters to people like me who really enjoy taking smartphone photos. He continues, “The EyeEm community get their photos discovered through our partnerships with publications like The Huffington Post, or even get their photos sold through EyeEm’s own market or it’s work with Getty Images.”
Did you catch that? Your photos can go on to be a part of something big. And you can get paid for it. It feels a bit like a no-brainer; if you’re taking really nice photos with your phone, why not get paid for them on top of building up a fan base?
For an example, take the Delta Airlines passenger who shot a photo with EyeEm at an airport and, shortly after uploading it, had it bought by Delta. Not only did the user get paid, but the photo went viral on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Missions feature of EyeEm is particularly interesting. It allows brands to connect with real people by crowdsourcing photos from the EyeEm community. So far over 200,000 people have participated in Missions assignments/challenges since the feature was launched last year. What I like about the Missions feature is that it lets an average, ordinary person connect with—and possibly sell photos to—brands they would never have access to normally while also allowing brands the chance to get their hands on some highly authentic imagery. Talk about a win-win.
Another awesome EyeEm feature you aren’t going to find elsewhere? Open Edit. Open Edit lets you learn from the best photographers and, rather than just viewing the end product, actually see how they edited their images. You can even apply those edits to your own images if you want.
If this sounds a bit like a rant, it sort of has been. But it’s about to turn into a rave. I absolutely love the fact that EyeEm doesn’t have any ads and doesn’t charge for things like filters—it’s all free to the community. EyeEm is only successful if it helps the community be successful—presumably by becoming better photographers and selling their photos.
Do I think EyeEm is headed down the road to success? Yep. Why? Because of the focus on community, as Markus explains:
“There is only one thing that matters to us: our community. With everything we do we constantly ask us “How will our community feel about?” and “How will this benefit our community?”. A lot of the features, starting with the camera, the editing features, the way on how images are being displayed (we never crop an image) to our transparency of selling images on the EyeEm Market: all of them have been build after strong Community feedback and we will continue to work this way.”
Okay, so EyeEm isn’t going to kill Instagram; but it does have some killer features that, in many ways, make it better than Instagram. If you love taking photos on your phone, go download it now.