Two years ago, an interesting policy of Flickr’s came to light: they would prefer it if you didn’t upload screenshots, and screenshots will get flagged as “NIPSA”, that’s Not In Public Site Areas, meaning they won’t show up in a search. While this policy alienated a number of users, it set a tone for the site; that Flickr isn’t just an image storing service, it’s a community for sharing photos that you’ve taken.
Filling this niche comes Vancouver-based Scrnshots. Under the banner of Orange Peel Media, Greg Bell and Derek Kehler have quit their day jobs in pursuit of the start-up dream. Scrnshots lets users share examples of screen and web design. “Share your inspiration” is the tagline, and “Screenshots only please. Do not upload photos” reads the community guidelines. Built with Ruby on Rails, Scrnshots was launched at the beginning of May, and was featured at Launch Party 4. Last week they introduced a desktop utility for Mac and Windows that takes screenshots, prompts for titling and tagging, and uploads directly to the site.
Greg Bell, Derek Kehler, and myself. Photo by Phillip Jeffery, Fade to Play
While functionally, Scrnshots is similar to Flickr, by defining the site’s intention and purpose up front, it has been set in a direction to cultivate a user community all it’s own. While targeting a design niche might narrow the potential user base, it also makes the site more attractive to that niche, and to the advertisers that want to target it. With 2400+ images uploaded in the first month, the site is off to a good start. Best of luck to Greg and Derek in growing and nurturing your community.