Bootstrapping founders, Jeremy Greenfield and Kayvon Olomi, have taken a non-traditional route to marketing their new photo aggregation and sharing application, Divvy. They’ve hopped into a 1973 VW camper bus and are on a cross-country road trip to tour colleges around the U.S., in an attempt to get the word out about the privacy options their app allows.
They left April 1st from Tulsa, and are now in the New York tri-state area, with plans to hit up Boston, MIT, Harvard, and more, before heading to Denver in three weeks. Olomi, who’s also the founder of app development marketplace AppTank, says he built Divvy to scratch a few of his own itches: the hassles of moving between Facebook and Instagram to follow his friends’ photos, the inability to zoom in on Instagram photos, and the inability to save those photos. But he also thinks that more private photo sharing is something today’s younger users want.
A desire for more private socializing has of course fueled the rise of messaging apps and new twists on photo-sharing, as with the “disposable” photo and video sharing on Shapchat, for example. But penetrating the space as a newcomer is always tough.
That’s why Divvy starts off by selling itself as a photo aggregator first and foremost. Today, the app pulls in the feeds from Facebook and Instagram, with plans to support Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Dropbox in the future. You can not only view your friends photos, but also like and comment on them using Divvy.
This isn’t an entirely novel concept, since many apps and services have offered the combined albums experience, including Dropbox acquisition Snapjoy, Shutterfly acquisition ThisLife, Picturelife, Woven, Everpix, and even those not focused only on photos, like Flipboard, for example.
What Divvy does differently is add its own photo-sharing features to the mix. Like a mini-social network of its own, friends can share photos to all their followers on Divvy, share selectively with individuals or groups, or share with nearby Divvy users – even if they don’t have their contact information.
The nearby photo thing has been tried before too – with Color, most notably – but also with more under the radar options like Evertale’s Wink. It’s a use case that doesn’t quite seem capable of supporting a standalone application of its own, so it makes sense for Divvy to sideline this as an option, not as the key feature.
Divvy’s app today is lacking polish, with a design that gives it a more utilitarian feel than a social app should have. It needs to work on the layout, where there are too many buttons and places to look. It should streamline things a bit. But there’s an idea here which makes sense – and not just for the college students they’re selling it to from the back of a bus – but for anyone who wants to share photos more selectively with others.