The people behind Depositphotos, one of the most popular stock photo agencies on the web, have come out with their new iPhone app, Clashot, intended to be a “photojournalism” platform, and through which users can earn money by submitting and selling photos through their service. Online stock photography services have been around for quite a while now; however, Depositphotos is one of the first ones to disrupt the mobile app market with their Clashot iPhone app. We had the chance to give the app a test drive, and here’s our take on it.
How does it work?
The concept of Clashot is simple: it allows you to take photos and upload them as reports onto the app, where (once approved) they will be shared with the rest of the community. The best photos uploaded onto the app, will be posted for sale as stock photography to advertising agencies, graphic design houses, news agencies and other interested parties, in the Editorial section of Depositphotos. The user will earn royalties/commissions from the sale of their photos, and will be able to withdraw their funds from their account through easy, accessible methods.
Installing the Clashot app from the App Market was a breeze, and we were presented with a self-explanatory welcome prompt when we opened up the app for the first time. Once signed in to the app, a quite neat, simplistic layout came up for the app, with the following main options: Wizard, Feed, Camera, Profile, and Settings.
1. Wizard: quickly walks the user through the various steps of using the app to take or upload photos, then create a “report” of individual photos, or a selection of photos. Once the user has filled in some customary details about the report, the report containing the photos will be uploaded onto their server, where, once approved by their moderators, will be available for the public to view and share.
2. Feed: shows a list of all of the photos currently available on the app for the public to view, and has some handy sorting options, i.e. by category, latest, and popular photos, among other options. The layout of the Feed has a quite Pinterest-like feel to it, and photos are displayed in a clean, beautiful format. There were no significant issues with the loading time for the photos, as well. The social aspect of the app is brought out in this section as well – users have the ability to rate, comment on, as well as share the photos available in the platform. From the looks of it, it has an engaging, active community, and is likely to stay that way as its user base grows over time.
3. Camera: allows the user to take multiple photos with its app, with the ability to upload them directly onto their reports – the process is quite seamless this way; alternatively, it does provide the user with the option to upload existing photos from their library, if needed.
4. Profile: contains some basic account options and information, including an option to view messages, followers/following stats for the user, detailed profile and financial statistics, balance and payment withdrawal options (through PayPal or WebMoney), and finally, options to connect Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter accounts to the app for social sharing.
5. Settings: contains some basic network and notification settings; nothing too complicated.
All in all, we found it to be quite a handy app for its niche – it defines its purpose clearly, has a clean, sleek layout, and we did not experience any significant issues with the app functionality as well.
Features We Liked:
1. Thematic Photo Reports: Multiple photos covering the same – or similar – content may be uploaded onto a single report through the app, and will provide a sort of photo collage for the community to peruse through, for any particular type of content that they are looking for.
2. Social Aspect: The app provides a very convenient way for its community to collaborate together – by liking, commenting, and sharing each other’s photos; integration of major social networks, i.e. Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter, is a big plus as well.
3. Payment Withdrawal: It takes just a couple of steps for a user to withdraw funds from their account, at any time they want to, and in a very accessible, user-friendly format. Payments are made through either PayPal or WebMoney, so users do have a choice when it comes to withdrawal options as well.
1. Commission: The user receives just a 44% share as commission when their photo gets purchased; this might seem a tad low for a commission-based model.
2. Camera Options: The built-in camera filtering and editing options leave much to be desired now, with some limited functionality and tools; this will hopefully change as they come out with new iterations of the app over time.
3. Bugs: There are a few serious bugs left to be ironed out in the app. For instance, uploading a report onto the app took a significant amount of time for us, and to make sure it was not an issue at our end itself, we tested using a different device as well as network connection, with same results. The app crashed a couple of times during testing, but overally, there were not many issues that cannot be fixed over time, with further, new releases of the app.
Clashot is certainly taking a different approach when it comes to stock photography; what remains to be seen is if users will take to it as anticipated. While the app has a lot of potential to stand out on its own, it might be worth shifting the focus from providing a cash-for-photos model, to building a service that will allow photographers to build a brand identity for themselves, through their photos. The design and social aspect of the app is excellent; however, the service model may need to be iterated and polished until they strike the perfect chord with their target audience. For now, this app is definitely worth checking out, if just for the novelty of its service.
Clashot can be downloaded for free at the App Store.