Whilst at Marketing Clout I looked at Picuous, a new online tool which looked set to transform the way we share images online. A year on and they have failed, packing up shop and offering their domain for sale. Why?
Picuous was doomed to fail from Day 1. They made it very time consuming to share images, the very thing they were trying to promote, I.e. the ability to easily share and track your images online.
Users had to upload their images to Picuous first, and then embed them into websites or blogs, using the service’s own code (similar to YouTube and Vimeo videos). Not very efficient for images when you think about it. They probably should have developed a WordPress (WP) plugin or something …
Two very important lessons learned.
First off, don’t become another image host. Unless you’ve caught onto a photography niche like Flickr, people want things made easy. They want to upload their own images to their own website/blog and keep control. Not to mention your hosting and bandwidth costs from hosting a gazillion of other peoples’ files.
Secondly, keep an eye on the competition. Pinterest ticked most of the boxes from Day 1. Pinterest allows you to “Pin” interesting images that you come across on the web, not just your own. This way of doing things is far more attractive to a wider audience. Keep things simple.