Though their app has only been in the public light since its launch at the beginning of August, the folks over at Cooliris are already making an impact that will have photo enthusiasts rejoicing and some competitors in the industry glancing a wary eye. Originally started in 2007 as an application for browsers to display web media, Cooliris is now an application for iPad and iPhone that allows users to seamlessly integrate all of their social photo resources on one collage-like platform. Users can selectively share through Facebook, Instagram, and Google and converse with friends on common groups through the app or on email. Like so:
Since its launch, Cooliris is already the number 1 iPad app in 63 countries under the lifestyle category and this is just the beginning. Looking to expand, we spoke with Tien-Yu Lee in Marketing, who together with Marketing Director Jenny Lum and CEO Soujanya Bhumkar answered a few questions for us about where they are going and how they hope to adapt to China and Asia.
What is Cooliris and how did it start?
Cooliris is all about bringing visual, immersive rich media experiences to users worldwide. We began in 2007 and in 2008, we released the Cooliris plugin for browsers. With 50M+ downloads, the Cooliris plugin displayed web media on the Cooliris 3D Wall for a faster and more beautiful way to browse. Since then, we’ve continued to build immersive experiences like the native Gallery app for Android with 100K activations per day and AdJitsu 3D Ads, which was recently acquired by SingTel’s Amobee. Today, we’ve extended our reach to iPad and iPhone with the all-new Cooliris, which has been ranked #1 iPad app in 71 countries for Lifestyle.
Why does photo sharing technology need to be integrated into one platform?
Users want all their photos in one place. Currently, their photos are scattered everywhere on the web, and it’s exhausting to search every single service to find the photos you want to browse and share. The next step to a better photo sharing experience for the user is to create an experience that is comprehensive and integrates all of the user’s photo sharing services and needs.
How do you differentiate Cooliris from the competition?
The Cooliris app has a stunning visual user interface and seamless user experience that are unparalleled in mobile apps. We’ve taken our unique Cooliris 3D Wall, which we have become renowned for, and extended it to iOS devices to make for a not only beautiful, but also extremely fast way to browse through thousands of photos.
In addition, users have the ability to view and selectively share in close-knit conversations from multiple sources, including the mobile Library, Facebook, Instagram and Google Images. We’ve created a unique, fun and easy way for users to interact with the media that matters most to them.
In China, it is difficult to access Facebook. How will Cooliris adapt to the market here?
As Facebook is only one of the content sources, users in China will still be able to access other content such as their mobile Library, and Instagram, and also create private conversations around that content within the Cooliris environment. Going forward, we are working with strategic partners in China to bring personalized content to Chinese users.
Cooliris is only available on iPhone and iPad. Do you plan to expand to other platforms?
As you can see from our history, we are big believers in the desktop and Android platforms, so we definitely want to expand Cooliris to other platforms soon.
Who is your target user-base?
Media-savvy users who love to take photos, share photos, or see their friends’ photos, and who also care about the privacy of their content and whom their content is shared with. Today, we see a lot of students, young professionals, parents, and ex-pats with friends and family around the world using Cooliris, just to name a few.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
In 5 years, we imagine that the world will have gone completely mobile, and Cooliris will be on every single device as the default way to explore, discover and share rich media. We hope to continue to bring visual delightfulness to every user around the world.