Pumpic is a new, better photo-sharing app. But is there really a demand?

By Cale Guthrie Weissman , written on April 17, 2013

From The News Desk

For as long as pictures have been uploaded and shared online, people have griped about the problems with photo-uploading platforms. Instagram holds the rights to your photos. Flickr reduces the file size, and it takes forever to upload photos -- plus storage is finite, and quite small at that. Meanwhile setting privacy controls is tedious and often confusing, especially for photo-sharing giants like Google and Facebook, and the list goes on. Pumpic, a photo-sharing platform that launched its 1.0 version yesterday, claims to fix all these and other photo-sharing pitfalls. The question is, are these additions enough for consumers to adopt it on a mass scale?

Well, maybe. Pumpic’s killer differentiator is speed. Its Israeli founders Iko Hason and Hay Taub claim it can upload and send pictures almost instantly to multiple platforms. What’s more photos can be as large as you want, and it offers unlimited storage. Meanwhile, it can scan your Twitter and Facebook feeds and upload images you were tagged in for your own personal album. These highlights attracted $700,000 of venture funding from Tel Aviv incubator TheTime.

Hason and Taub launched Pumpic in 2012 with the aim to rival other cloud-based photo-sharing services such as Picassa and Flickr. They told me the project was born “out of pain” from the endless suffering they faced when uploading and sharing pictures with friends and family. This “pain” caused them to create a platform whose sole purpose was to make sharing easier. In their opinion, sites like Dropbox and Facebook, when it comes to photos, “aren’t meant to be shared.”

To take on Facebook, the two founders made Pumpic’s privacy options easy to control for each album, and to compete with Flickr they became sticklers for photo quality. “For Google and Facebook, when you upload pictures to the sites they lower the quality,” they claim. Pumpic retains photo quality, no matter how large the file.

Following our conversation I downloaded the app to test it out. Sure enough, it was able to upload my 1,000-plus photos in my iPhone library in a matter of seconds. The founders attribute this to a three-step uploading process. The first just accesses the thumbnails to make photo-viewing on your phone almost instantaneous. The second uploads the picture to one megapixel so it can be viewed on any screen. Following that, if a photo is chosen from a library to be sent, it is transmitted in its original size “PC to PC.”

While some gripe about privacy, we’ve not seen a mass exodus from Facebook or Instagram. People seem fine with Flickr storage limits. All of these applications are easy to use. So it’s speed that will determine whether Pumpic takes off or not.

I’m not convinced that will be enough. After all, there are many photo-sharing platforms out there, and today’s trend centers on how creative you can be with photo sending. Take, for example, SnapChat.

In a market overrun with endless ways to send selfies, Pumpic will have to yell really loudly to be heard.

[Image courtesy recombiner]