How Our Trillions of Photos Can Serve the Greater Good

By: Steven McBride, Founder & CEO of Chronicle

(originally published January 4, 2017)

How many photos did you take this holiday season? How many do you take on any given day? The average mobile user takes approximately 150 new photos each month, or about 5 photos per day. Friends. Family. Places. Interesting things in daily life. These images are meaningful to us.

But most of these photos sit in our camera roll until they are deleted to reclaim space or end up on a hard drive. We post one-off shots on popular social media sites that stand alone, and quickly get buried in an endless feed. These snapshots in their current form serve little value to the larger community.

Trillions of photos are taken every year by people like you and me. But what is the point of all these photos? How can we give them lasting meaning and value beyond our close circle? Many of these photos are valuable shots capturing an important moment in time that deserves to be preserved and shared with others for years to come.

Current visual platforms fall short of meeting this need. Instagram is a terrific product for sharing photos of a single moment but it is not designed to access images from the distant past. While Facebook makes photo-sharing easy, it is geared towards circles of friends, family, and small groups. Snapchat is largely ephemeral and photos literally disappear. Google and Apple photos help with storage and organization but are not social platforms for the larger community.

As social product connoisseur Josh Elman writes in a recent article for Greylock Partners, “the next big thing” is a platform that allows people to express themselves visually, connect in new ways, and meets a core need such as “preserving the zillions of photos we are all creating and uploading.”

Our answer is Chronicle, a collaborative social platform where everyone’s photos come together to create our visual narrative. Chronicle is crowdsourced and guided by chronology, which not only makes it easy to access and share photos with the larger community, but creates lasting records and ongoing stories of all the world’s subjects, putting our photos to use for the greater good.

Chronicle Beta: (L-R) Home Feed, Chronicle Detail, and Image Detail

We invite you to be part of the bigger picture. Join our beta at onechronicle.com. For more info, email contact@onechronicle.com or find us on social media @TheChronicleApp. #ChronicleIt

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