A new startup has launched in the UK which offers a cost-effective way for mobile phone users to send photos to a large group of people at once, or to include on their blog.
The primary aim of the service is to allow anyone to snap a picture on their camera phone and send it, for the price of a single multimedia message, to their friends’ mobile phones. It also stores all the photos you’ve taken on your profile page.
However, it also includes the ability to embed a widget on your Facebook profile, or any web site where you can use the <EMBED> code — and that includes blogs.
Of course, the service isn’t unique — other photo blogging / moblogging sites already exist — but the mix of sending to a closed, but ultimately large, group of contacts as well as sharing online is an interesting one. It’s pretty cheap, too.
Over two thousand people are already using the site. Three-quarters of the UK population now own a camera phone, so the phenomenon of snapping photos on the move is only going to increase. As social networking and blogging also increase, services like NowThen will become ever more popular.
It’s early days for the service at present, but my initial tests suggest that it works fairly well. It takes a few minutes for photographs sent to the service to be available on your profile page, after which any widgets you’ve placed on a web page will update.
It’s not clear exactly how the service is going to be funded. Posting a photograph to a widget is of negligible cost (though scaled up there could be some significant hosting fees) but sending mobile messages to a large number of people, at no cost to the original sender, might be a harder one to sustain.
Perhaps limits will be imposed, a la Twitter. Concentrating on the moblogging aspect would certainly be cheaper and reach a huge audience.
Anyone in the UK who wants to give the service a go can visit NowThen.com, sign up and activate their phone, then start sending photos.