Sunday, June 8, 2014

Storehouse visual stories

I just discovered them during the recent Apple Design Awards ceremony, as Apple selected them as one of the 2014 Winners. Storehouse is a simple business model by a startup in which free members publish online stories composed with texts, photographs and short videos (max 30 secs). Stories are published online and viewers can read them and like and/or comment on them. Also share them with friends thru the usual suspect social networks. Your media sources are either your local photo libraries or a few media sharing networks like Flickr and Instagram. In other words, Storehouse is a pleasant extension to those other networks who weren't clever enough to come up with the idea. Flickr, for instance could have implemented this long ago.

The app is at its best on a tablet, for both reading and creating stories. A browser is a viable alternative to those who don't own a tablet. Everything is free for the moment but maybe freemium models are down the road. They just secured a second round of VC funding of 7 million bucks they say; so I am sure they are seriously thinking about monetisation as we speak, otherwise no VC would be that interested. Maybe VCs are attracted by the 'hub' effect and a sale down the road to a bigger fish. Who knows? For the time being all we can do is enjoy their service... for free! 

If you come to think about it, Storehouse is no more than a simple blogging facility with an attractive user experience. Nothing more, nothing less. However, the experience has still its merits and I am sure they are thinking about / or already working on possible extensions. For instance, they might offer a function of assembling books with your stories and publish them via mechanisms like Blurb/Lulu and the likes, or by themselves. They could also print them in ways that you could hung them on walls, poster-like. They could maintain privacy levels so that a published story is only viewable by those you personally select, like family and friends. A great way to share experiences. Especially with a touch of unedited video. You can say a whole lot in 30 secs, you see. Most TV ads are shorter than that. There are so many things you can do with something like this. Funny it's only Storehouse that came up with the idea. Cool stuff.

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