Repix leverages the hashtag to reach 1.5m downloads

Recently launched Repix is a freemium app that gives users creative photo editing tools. The app comes preloaded with abilities that allow you to paint in a variety of effects like one that cartoonizes parts of the image, and the store features sets that give users the ability to paint on color filters and even add some pretty light effects. The overall effect of the tools can range from cheesy to stunning, depending on how they’re used.

When images that have been created in Repix are opened in apps like Instagram, they automatically include “#repix” – leveraging the friends and followers of its users and also creating a hashtag that people can go through to see other Repixed images. While Repix is definitely not the first app to feature automatic hashtags, it is an interesting trend – and a powerful one with Repix already reaching 1.5 million downloads in its first week.

The hashtag itself has become this highly powerful tool to not only be the hub of conversation but to also generate interest and hype. With purchasing through the use of Twitter and hashtags growing, the hashtag is becoming even more powerful. So automatic hashtags are something more app developers will probably be looking into, especially after the success of Repix.

What are your thoughts on apps automatically adding hashtags? Tweet @GetChute with your thoughts, and check out some highlighted images from the Repix hashtag below.

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Google+ launches in-app photo editor

Google has recently rolled out an update to it’s Google+ app that features a powerful in-app photo editing tool thanks to its acquisition of Nik Software back in September.

google+ photo editer

The new photo editor features basic editing components like rotating and cropping, but the real magic lies in the filters. Preloaded Instagram-style filters line the bottom of the screen, but once a filter is selected the user has a whole new range of customization options. Sweeping up and down lets you select options like the style strength, brightness, saturation, contrast, texture coverage, and others depending on the filter. The most surprising part is how simple it is. With so many options, one would think the photo editing system would be clunky and complicated. But instead it is really quite simple.

Instagram popularized the idea of having a pocket dark room, and now tools like Google’s photo editor are making the concept a standard in any form of photo sharing.

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SXSW 2013 #VisualRevolution Wrap Up

Want to know who was most successful at breaking through the noise at SXSW? Who threw the hottest parties? Which musical artist generated the most visual hype? And which online publication got the most attention? Find out in our final #VisualRevolution at SXSW infographic, and check out part 1 for the Interactive rundown.

sxsw music infographic

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Smaller is great, but where’s the social?

This week, Canon expanded its Rebel DSLR line to a new, smaller camera: the Canon EOS Rebel SL1. The SL1 manages to fit the majority of the larger Rebel T4i’s specs into a smaller and more portable device. This latest mini DSLR along with mirrorless cameras, that provide DSLR-quality and control without the bulk, are making it easier for consumers to access near-professional image quality.

Canon Rebel SL1

However, most camera brands are missing one key aspect in their entry-level DSLR cameras: social. The SL1 comes fully equipped with filters and in-device cropping, but where are the built-in Instagram or Flickr apps? Shouldn’t one of these cameras come with a  version of Android and it’s own app marketplace by now? There are already point-and-shoots that are android powered, and if these companies really want their professional cameras to appeal to consumers then their entry-level professional cameras need to start including more smart technology too.

Canon made a noble attempt at bringing smartphone capabilities to the Rebel T4i with its touchscreen – making the switch from point-and-shoot to DSLR a little less daunting, but it still lacks any other social aspects. Their latest releases, the SL1 and  T51, do nothing to advance in that field.

There are already apps for phones that give a DSLR look, and more phones like the Nokia Lumia are breaking all expectations with their strong photography performance. There’s really no reason for consumers to buy point-and-shoot cameras now – all of that functionality has been packed into the phones they carry around everywhere already.

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However, the DSLR offers something extra with the quality level and customizability – as long as manufacturers catch up to current social and tech standards. We live in the time of the visual revolution – where photos and social are two sides of the same coin, and DSLRs need to adapt before they become redundant.

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Photo Hack Day 4 Official Pre-Party at Chute

photo hackday

Chute is very excited to announce our sponsorship of Photo Hack Day 4 along with the Official Photo Hack Day 4 Pre-Party, which we will be hosting at our SoMA headquarters on Friday, April 5.

Photo Hack Day brings together designers and developers in a weekend-long hacking marathon. Teams compete to create the best applications using web and mobile photo APIs, with the best apps winning awesome prizes and bragging rights. Presented by Aviary and Facebook, this year’s event will be hosted at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.

Join us at the pre-party to create teams, network, strategize, or just socialize with fellow attendees. We’ll have food, drinks, and music throughout the night, and in true Chute style, we’ll be hosting a photo contest for the best picture shared from the pre-party.

Register to attend and to choose your shirt size.

stop by and pick up your free Chute shirt

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Visual Sites Get More Social

This week’s Front Lines of the Visual Revolution features two already-visual sites building on top of their products to increase engagement and social activity.

1. Flickr

Hashtag support and usage is growing with rumors that even Facebook will be adopting it soon. Now Flickr is rolling out official support for their iOS app, improving the search function and helping Flickr users join the online conversations happening around a specific hashtag. The photography-based social network has even started their own hashtag-powered image campaign, #FlickrFriday, which asks users to take and share photos based on a different theme every weekend.

2. Pinterest

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Pinterest has been successful in developing a design that encourages e-commerce and engagement, and websites like Ebay are redesigning to match the Pinboard style. Now the site has rolled out a redesign that makes images larger and increases the number by including other pins by the user, pins from people who also pinned that item, and other pins from that source.

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The #VisualRevolution at SXSWi

We had a blast with SXSW this year! From the Ogilvy and Chute #DOAustin contest to watching hundreds of thousands of photos pour into our #SXSW Chute, we definitely noticed the presence of the visual revolution at the Interactive and Music festivals.

Our infographic below focuses on the Interactive portion and pits Twitter and Instagram against each other. Who’s the visual champion? Find out below!

sxsw interactive infographic

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The Potential of Lifelogging

Would you want every moment of your life documented? That’s what Memoto is banking on. The wearable camera automatically snaps photos every 30 seconds, and then connects to your computer to assemble a visual narrative of your life.

The company’s Kickstarter met its fundraising goal after just a few hours of being launched, so maybe the idea of lifelogging isn’t so farfetched. After all, the  product would be a powerful one for travelers or event attendees who could rely on the device to document the experience.

Today, the company shared some example photos from a Memoto prototype, and the quality seems to be pretty awesome already.

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What would something like Memoto gaining mainstream adoption mean for photography and visual storytelling? Already, we have more photos being captured and shared than ever before. With Memoto, the amount of content being created will grow at an exponential rate.

The power of this kind of visual content could definitely be leveraged by publishers and brands. News organizations like NBC are already using user-generated content to help develop stories, and Memoto would significantly increase the amount of content being created during any event. Travel companies and destinations could use the device to create narratively rich ad campaigns. Even fashion publishers could use the device to capture a full day’s worth of street style.

What are your thoughts on Memoto? Will you be a lifeblogger?

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The Pocket Darkroom

The capabilities we now have in our phones once took whole teams and large programs. We can now snap, edit, and share media all in one device and in the span of a few moments – making quality content creation accessible to a much wider range of users.



Facetune is a mobile app pushing image editing technology further by letting users airbrush photos quickly and simply. For $1.99, we now have the ability to do something that would have cost hundreds in the past.


Another example of the increasing accessibility to once complex and highly expensive platforms is Vyclone. The company that brought collaborative videos to mobile devices is now bringing a video editor to the web. However, this isn’t just a web-based video editor. It’s also a collaborative and social tool. The editor lets users pull in videos from their own Vyclone account and from other Vyclone users to remix, edit, and share. The new web platform taps into remix culture, but makes it even more social and community-based.

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Redesigns Veer Towards the Visual

Following on the heels of Facebook’s news feed update, The New York Times has announced their own site redesign. The new layout pulls inspiration from app design with sliding components for commenting and section selection. But the change that stands out the most is the focus on photography.

The top of the page features one large image and a headline with thumbnails and headlines lining the top of the page. These visuals are used to keep users on the NY TImes’ site, increase clicks, and help to tell richer stories.

The New York Times and Facebook aren’t alone in launching visual-focused redesigns. This week, Rdio launched the new layout for their app which also follows along with the visual theme with cover art as the focal point.

We know that web designers are switching to more visual formats, but why? Sure, it’s prettier, but what does this new aesthetic stem from?

Evidence over the past few years has shown that visual content does better than text alone. On Facebook, posts with photos and videos drive the most engagement. Pinterest is winning the e-commerce side of social media because of its visual-focused layout, which is why Ebay revamped their layout to mimic them. Visual design stems from the visual revolution’s ability to attract more attention, traffic, and therefore revenue.

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