Why we built Describe

TL;DR: To make photos as meaningful as they are beautiful.
TAn Instagram by National Geographic

Photos are the most popular medium on the internet. But photo-sharing networks for the most part, haven’t done much to turn them into meaningful content. The centrepiece of content shared on any photo sharing network is the photo itself, as it should be. But any form of explanation or complementary information about the context of this photo, is a discrete and relegated textual section which is not highlighted enough. This way of presenting content on photo sharing networks has disjointed photos from the right kind of context; the context that can add great value and meaning to the photos.

So we built ‘Describe’, a social network that allows you to describe every photo you share with tiny videos of yourself.

Illustration of a post shared on Describe

At the surface, this might sound like yet another photo app. But what differentiates Describe from the other photo sharing networks is a simple fact that Describe is not about sharing beautiful photos simply because they are beautiful, but instead about sharing photos as a medium of information exchange or as initiators of conversations and much more. It is about bringing context to the fore.

Most importantly, Describe is about making photos meaningful again.

Every post in Describe has a small shell containing a video file, which in turn is a part of a bigger shell that contains the photos. We call this format, the Hybrid Content Format (HCF).

Hybrid Content Format of Describe

When a post is viewed in Describe, the viewer looks at the photo while also looking at the person who has shared it, talking about the photo. The posts shared on Describe, called Describes, are inherently descriptive in nature. They are more information dense and yet more light-weighted as a form of sharing content. For a content creator, Describe accomplishes the task of both sharing photos and narrating the story/explanation that goes with it, within a single unified shell.

Describe delivers more to the viewer in lesser focal area with more engagement and less hassle.

With Describe, the facts painstakingly typed by a publisher like NatGeo under every Instagram they share can go as mainstream as the visual of their photos, and that without even having to type them in the first place.

Who can use Describe?

  • Anyone who would love to share an experience/memory/just about any moment of life that they may have captured.
  • Anyone who is a journalist and wants to make richer, light-weight, visual shareables instead of longer, textual articles. Individual journalists and publications can very easily create audiovisual articles using photos and videos and share them with their potential viewers.
  • Anyone who is a creative and has lots to tell about their creations when they show them to the world.
  • Anyone who is a celebrity and would love to engage with their fans/followers at a much more personal level.
  • Anyone who is an educationist and wants students to see and grasp more with lesser effort.
  • Anyone who is a photographer and has an urge to tell the backstories of their beautiful photographs and the techniques behind them.
  • Anyone who is a blogger. Bloggers can adopt a whole new way of doing blogs using Describe by using photos and recording themselves talking, instead of typing.
  • Anyone who is a traveller and simply wouldn’t be satisfied with sharing photos from their most recent sojourn without the little stories that made it interesting.
  • Anyone who has a passion for something and showing a photo wouldn’t just convey it wholly.
  • Anyone who is a professional something and would want to give the instruction themselves for the ones seeking assistance, instead of just showing a series of photos.
  • Anyone who is a brand and would want to use a face to relate with their potential customers when they have something to share. Businesses and brands can not just display their offerings but also pitch them to potential buyers.
  • Anyone who is a chef or a homemaker and cannot resist sharing their new recipe.
  • Anyone who wants to review something can deliver their reviews first hand by showing the product and recording their review, thereby making their reviews more credible.
  • Anyone who is a responsible citizen and wants to be a citizen journalist.

With Describe, the backstory or the description that is usually under the photo (in the other networks) is just as prominent as the photo itself and just as engaging.

Using Videos With Photos

Videos have so far been served as content and have been insanely effective at that. Describe leverages the effectiveness of videos as a medium to serve a very different purpose, which is to complement content, rather than be the content themselves.

What Changes With Describe?

Describe makes photos a much more meaningful form of content than they have ever been. Describe brings the meaning back to photos by bringing the subjects within the photos alive by letting people build conversations around them. This brings back the focus to where it belongs, i.e. on capturing and sharing photos that matter, rather than simply capturing or sharing better or bad photos.

The More Important Change

With Describe, photos become a true medium of information exchange. Describe brings with it a powerful, full-scale audiovisual platform to share information in the form of photos and descriptive videos. Describe also makes the best case for the next generation of blogging. On an internet that is mapped only in four formats, namely image, video, audio and text, Describe’s Hybrid Content Format offers a truly disruptive solution for making the information shared online much more enriching and engaging.

Download Describe for iPhone.

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