Photo Sharing From a Different Angle: PhotoApe.com

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Recent years witnessed a boom in digital photography and a multitude of online photo sharing communities have spawned on the web, trying to meet the growing demand. But are these photo communities what consumers are really looking for? PhotoApe.com offers a new approach.

Recent years witnessed a boom in digital photography, with digital cameras getting more and more popular every day and camera phones being a de facto best seller on the cell phone market. It is estimated that, at the end of year 2005, 52% of the households in the US owned a digital camera and 55 percent of all cell phones had a build in camera. Similarly, a multitude of online photo sharing communities have spawned on the web, trying to meet the growing demand. But are these photo communities what consumers are really looking for?

One cannot help but notice that virtually all of the photo sharing services on the Internet are community based. You create an account and become a part of a huge community of people sharing their personal photos online. Wait a minute... My friends are not interested in other people's photos - they are interested in seeing me; not my neighbor, not Jack from another country, but Me! I do not want to be a part of a community of people I do not know and people whose photos are of no interest to me or my family and friends.

Being part of an ordinary photo community also brings a set of quite unwanted and frustrating features. It is extremely difficult for anyone viewing your albums to avoid clicking links to someone else's photos. Of course, the overwhelming amount of textual and graphical ads makes it even harder for your audience to stay focused on what you want them to see.

Obviously inspired by all these frustrations, Ixyst Corporation has taken over an existing photo sharing service and given it a completely new look and feel. http://www.photoApe.com came to be.

PhotoApe.com takes a different approach towards its members. Each member is treated like an individual and given his very own personal photo web site. The moment you submit the registration form, you receive your own web site with your own URL of user.photoape.com (you can change the URL to a multitude of different domains, like user.photoHideout.com, user.eNurd.com and so on).

Your personal web site contains your albums and photos only. No links to other people photos and no sense of community whatsoever). You can create albums and upload photos on http://www.photoApe.com, which acts like a control panel to your personal web site.

In addition, you can create buddies and assign custom access to them, down to each individual photo you upload. There is no need to open your photos to the public - now you can give each of your friends or family members granular access to only the albums and photos you want them to see.

You can also choose to apply a different template (or skin) to your personal web site. Multiple public templates are avaiable to choose from. In addition, with a bit of technical knowledge, you have the power to create your own template with your own graphic elements and HTML. Yes, you can modify the raw HTML code and graphics which compose your personal web site. You have total control over the content, appearance and access of your albums and photos.

Of course, all of these features are available for free. As a matter of fact, even your e-mail address is optional on the registration form.

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Petar Dimitrov