Why We’re Launching Gather
Gather is an easy to use web app that quickly and securely copies photos and videos you have scattered in Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr and Instagram to your Google Photos library. This is the story of how we decided to launch the product and why we think it can help you.
Earlier this year, Russ and I left our jobs in the tech industry and began working to turn our passion into a bonafide business. We were conducting research about reflecting on and preserving life’s biggest moments. One learning that became clear was, although photos and videos have seemingly always been an important way to look back and remember parts of your life, advances in technology have moved so fast that it’s been hard for people to keep up. Among other things:
- We have significantly more photos and videos than previous generations. The cameras in our smartphones are extremely powerful, consistently improving and we have them with us all the time.
- Using the cloud is now mainstream. Storage is cheap and reasonably secure.
- Artificial intelligence has advanced and now helps improve the quality of the photos and videos that we capture, digitizes our existing photos and videos, and enables us to build huge, automatically organized collections of personal media from which we can create meaningful memories.
While these changes are all fantastic, when we talked to people about what they used and how they used it, we identified a few common and very practical problems:
- Our photos and videos are often scattered across the Internet.
- People would like to have one centralized place to search, store and share their personal photos and videos.
- With most families or circles of friends, people use a mix of phones and computers made by different companies. Sharing photos and videos across all of these devices is still often cumbersome and people end up using multiple services.
For problems #2 and #3, after more extensive testing and research we concluded that Google Photos solves a lot these problems very well. If anything, we feel like people don’t realize what the product can do and we’ve created some guides to help with the use cases that folks have talked to us about the most.
For problem #1, however, we realized that there wasn’t a good solution and that helping people centralize their photos and videos in one place could be a worthwhile endeavor. Gathering and moving all of your photos and videos between services on the Internet can be a time-consuming, frustrating process. In order to accomplish this, for each platform, you need to figure out what to do and then spend time downloading a massive amount of data, unzipping files, de-duplicating photos and videos, uploading a massive amount of data, dealing with upload sessions that stop for no apparent reason, updating the date and location for hundreds or thousands of media items, and more.
Early in the summer of 2018, we came up with an idea to make gathering your photos and videos simple, easy and most importantly, fast. Today we’re launching Gather for people who:
- Currently use or want to use Google Photos to store or backup photos/videos
- Have photos/videos that they would like to store in Google Photos scattered across various services like Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr and Instagram
- Are not interested in spending the time or Internet bandwidth required to manually download and upload years worth of large media files from one place to another
If you’re willing to spend the time and like to do this kind of thing by yourself, we put together a DIY guide to help you along. We have nothing to hide. You can do what Gather does by yourself free of charge. It’ll most likely take you anywhere from 3–5 hours to complete the task, not counting download and upload times.
If you’d like to give Gather a try, it will save you a ton of time, frustration and Internet bandwidth. Gather offers the convenience of quickly and securely doing all of this work for you. We’re also offering a $1 refund for every person you refer up to the cost of your first paid order.
This is the first version of the product so hit us up if you have feedback on Gather as it exists today, as well as what you think Gather could do in the future. We’d love the chance to help you do more with your photos and videos and create great memories to share with your family and friends.