March 06, 2008 |
The good news is that Zooomr is still around. After their problems with launching Mark III last spring, they've managed to keep the site running, relocate their servers (albeit with an issue or two), and even start to monetize the site with ads and a freemium model, where “Pro” users can eliminate the ads and gain access to additional features.
In the past year, however, Zooomr has apparently reinvented itself yet again. While it formerly marketed itself as a competitor (and near-clone) of Flickr with additional features, the new, improved Zooomr 2008 is being marketed as more of a social tool, with all the newest Web 2.0 buzzwords included:
“Zooomr is a social utility for friends, family and co-workers who want to communicate securely through both photos and text messages in realtime.”
The new Zooomr Zipline is a lifestream complete with microblogging as well as photo posting. Other users can subscribe to Ziplines with RSS, and the Pro upgrade adds in friend feeds as well on another page with a “Social Stream.” The “Pro” designation has the same name as Flickr's premium service, and the Zipline page looks nearly identical to Twitter, right down to the layout, and that may still be Zooomr's biggest problem.
Zooomr has obviously established themselves as a great photo-sharing site. They've been nominated for the Webware 100 two years running, and won last year. But they seem to face a constant identity crisis, identifying themselves in terms of other sites. Web 2.0 is a constant barrage of building on top of other apps, but I suppose I have higher expectations for Zooomr. I keep thinking that if they could figure out exactly what they want to be rather than defining themselves in terms of what other services aren't, they would gain a far larger user base and be the photo-sharing site to beat.