Zooomr, the visionary startup/Flickr competitor by 20-year old Kristopher Tate (previously covered here, here, and here) is just hours away from launching what they’re calling ‘Release Mark III.’ Live coverage, by which I mean a webcam in Kristopher’s room, can be seen on Ustream as they work on upgrading and launching (infact by the time that most American readers read this, it will probably be up and done).
Mark III for Zooomr marks a whole bunch of new and innovative stuff, not to mention upgrades, an API, and an awesome deal for stock photographers. Having been 9 months in the making, most of the development has been done by Kristopher himself — being one of the only two employees of the company (other being CEO Thomas Hawk). Kristopher, while the upgrade takes place, has posted a video introduction to the product and a launch demo.
Some of the notable features in what some might call the ‘official Flickr killer version’ is the fact that all users now have unlimited storage [though pro accounts still exist], over 250 new features have been added, photographers can now sell their photos and keep 90% of the cut, and an open API been added which developers can build upon. If you didn’t catch it, has these are the exact features that would make a product ‘Flickr killer.’
While I believe they have a slight impact, I don’t believe, as Windows Live Mail and the new Yahoo! Mail clearly demonstrated in their respective industries, that having ‘one-better’ feature-offs do anything major. As with that example, thousands of GMail users didn’t take action when Microsoft unveiled Live Mail to its millions of users, or when Yahoo! announced they were upping storage to unlimited — nothing much happened at all, to be honest. In that way, what Zooomr is trying to is something similar — they’ve essentially added a better feature set, caught up with some of the others, given users more of an incentive, and upped their offerings.
This is not going to kill Flickr or even come close to having a major impact, and that’s simply because Flickr has spent more than 3 years building up that community and brand, and nothing comes close to that. However, it is very healthy for consumers who use either products the fact that something like Zooomr is giving them an eye-for-eye. As a result, I think Zooomr’s going to gain attention — and for Kristopher Tate, that means if Google or Microsoft or whoever ever feel the slightest need to compete with Yahoo! in the Flickr space, they’ll turn to him and he might get away as that just-over-teenage kid who made millions.