Out with old and in with the new is never easy. People are resistant to change. But every now and then, an innovation, invention or solution comes along that cannot be ignored by the masses. With over 1.5 billion photos created by a global network of 42 million creative users, PhotoMania is looking to do just that.
Let's face it, Photoshop is not for the everyday artist. Instagram is a plague to photography, so say the purists. PhotoMania is something completely different. They're looking to tap into the creative masses for an experience that goes beyond simple filters and complex software.
To help feed the appetite of the creative class, PhotoMania is launching mobile version of its application for Android and iOS. The mobile app enables users unleash their creativity by turning the photos on their mobile devices into exciting visual art. This initial mobile version of PhotoMania allows users to apply expressive, single-click enhancements to any photos on their mobile devices with a variety of painting, sketch, vintage, texture and other artistic effects.
We caught up with PhotoMania's CEO and co-founder Ofir Yosef to get his take on why there's such a need for creative outlet and self-expression.
What is PhotoMania?
PhotoMania is a platform for people to create unique photos using manipulations, filters and editing tools unlike anything else out there to make their creations stand out. People take a lot of photos. We share them, upload them; people are getting used to seeing so many photos, but there’s a need to create something more unique. PhotoMania is the solution to that need.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how PhotoMania came about?
Absolutely. My story is a bit different, in that I didn’t start in photography. I graduated from Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology – in electrical engineering. After I finished my studies, I went on to work with Intel, then moved to Samsung Research & Development; I got to see the big R&D centres of the world’s largest tech companies.
During my time in the tech space, I understood that I was a small screw in a big ship. My role was too small for my ambitions, and I determined that this was not the position I wanted to be in. I learned a lot from the big companies – like mass markets, tech production and world-class innovation – but understood what was missing.
I didn’t want to be bound to rules or red tape. I wanted to move fast and experiment, so I decided to start PhotoMania.
Why photography? What intrigued you about the creative aspect of photo editing and manipulation?
For me, I always liked photography but I was always fascinated with the manipulation of a photograph and creating something unique. Once mobile took over as the dominant form of taking and sharing photographs, I started to feel like everything looked the same. I began asking myself, “How do I take a photo and make it unique enough to stand out amongst all the rest?”
Desktop vs Mobile. Where does PhotoMania fit in those two ecosystems?
We started out as a desktop-only application on Facebook. Our app was incredibly popular, but we understood the need for an offering separate from the social network, and one that incorporated the mobile aspect of usage.
In terms of current usage, our desktop users engage and create for longer periods of time. Our mobile users are more of the “on-the-go” type user. The mobile app summarizes the best features of the desktop solution, and we even see our mobile users using the web solution just as much as the mobile app.
I like to view the mobile experience as big screen vs small screen, tablets vs smartphones. On-the-go usage is important to PhotoMania, and we understand that with the different screen sizes, there is a unique experience for each.
What does the future look like for PhotoMania?
Looking forward, we believe the world needs a place and a way to express themselves with photos. With apps like Instagram, Vine and Snapchat, it’s only scratching the surface of what people actually want to do with their creations. We want people to come to PhotoMania to have an artistic voice. We want them to feel like this is a place like no other for creativity and self-expression.