A startup 11 years in the making – according to its news release – launched today in a very crowded social networking space: photo sharing. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the site FreezeCrowd offers a new social platform for uploading and sharing photos on the web. Photos can be tagged and users can add speech bubbles to them – and based on who's in the image, data is collected and shared to stimulate conversations and community. FreezeCrowd tries to help by showing how you might be connected to the various people in the photos.
They are targeting college students and alumni as their core market as they look to emulate the connections that sites like Facebook and even MySpace have been providing for a decade. It is interesting to note that you can only register on the site if you have a .edu extension on your email address, which is exactly how Facebook started out.
While I applaud the launch efforts of this Midwest startup, I think they may want to reconsider making an entry into this saturated market via the Web. When breaking into the social networking space, it might make more sense to create a mobile photo sharing application, because that is where college students and alumni (and most people, really) take the majority of photos these days. It would lower the barrier of entry, since photo apps on the iPhone are extremely popular right now. For example, Instagram has millions of users in just year or so and have done it with a very minimal web presence.
Maybe it was the 11-years-in-the-making that caused this new startup to decide to go with an online photo sharing app. Either way, I do not think I would lead my launch announcement with that fact. If you think back 11 years, wasn't AOL ruling the web then? So this product was built to compete with AOL's You've Got Pictures?
Regardless, check out the FreezeCrowd video to see what it has to offer, as only time will tell if a mobile app might have been a more suitable first step. Let us know what you think of FreezeCrowd and their approach in the comments below.