I’d been test driving Instagram since the beginning of April when it became available to Android users on the Google Play store – I stopped using it in May!
While I did quite like Instagram, there were certain features – for example, being forced to crop my photos into a square & secondly being acquired by Facebook - that made me gravitate back to my first love in social photo-sharing – and Instagram long-time rival – PicPlz.
Even though I had been sharing my mobile pics taken & edited on my Samsung Galaxy S (and now Galaxy S3) on Instagram, I continued sharing on PicPlz. I had been an active PicPlz user since December 2010 and I was sad to read the news that PicPlz was shutting down its service on the 3rd July 2012.
Soon after the announcement of their closure, the people I followed on PicPlz started publicising their Instagram profile IDs on their photo feeds. While most of them posted their Instagram profile details, I noticed that several of them had listed a new social photo-sharing app that I hadn’t heard about - Streamzoo by Phonezoo Communications.
How does Streamzoo describe its service:
Streamzoo is a Photo social game. It enables users to connect with people all over the world, discover exciting content and organize mobile photos and videos into meaningful and interesting #streams. Also special filters, borders, and tilt shift effects can be added for photo enhancements.
Like other social photo-sharing apps, Streamzoo is free and includes great filters, borders, effects, easy sharing options and hashtags to help organise your photos. And you can even upload short videos too! And on top of all that, according to Streamzoo, you (the original uploader) retain all copyrights and ownership of the original content.
Getting Started With Streamzoo For Android
Getting started with Streamzoo for Android couldn’t be easier! You’ll be pleased to know that you can have this mobile app installed and setup in minutes. Read on below to see just how easy it is. Besides setting up Streamzoo, I’ll also share this social photo (& video) sharing apps interface, features and even what I think – in my opinion – can be improved on…
Downloading, Installing & Signing Up To Streamzoo
I didn’t waste any time in finding out more about Streamzoo, so I quickly downloaded the app on my Android handset from the Google Play store (also available as an iOS app). The Android app has a small footprint at only 5.10MB and has already been downloaded more than 1 Million times.
1. To install Streamzoo, you’ll first need to install the app from the Google Play app store.
2. Once the app has successfully installed, click on the “Open” button while in the Google Play store on your phone, or launch it from your Androids applications folder. You’ll be greeted by the Streamzoo launch screen.
3. On first launching Streamzoo on your smartphone you will have to signup for the service if you haven’t already got a profile. If you don’t yet have a Streamzoo profile, click the “Sign up” button. If you’ve already registered your Streamzoo profile on streamzoo.com, simply click the “Login” button.
Once you’ve successfully registered and logged in, you’ll be taken to your Streamzoo profile screen.
My Streamzoo profile was created at the beginning of May so it may look different to yours when you’ve just signed up.
1. You can view all your Streamzoo uploads by clicking on the “Uploads” tab. Your uploads are shown in a grid, and in order to view your full photo, just click on the thumbnail.
2. The “Streams” tab is where you can find all your tags you have used on your photos. For example, if you tag one of your photos with #photography, a new stream will appear in this section.
3. With Streamzoo you earn new badges when you have achieved some sort of milestone. The first badge you’ll earn on Streamzoo is the “Newbie” badge and you get this badge straight after uploading your first photo or video. As you upload and share more of your photos on the service, your acquired badges will be displayed here.
4. The “Following” tab – pretty self explanatory – lists other Streamzoo’ers that you follow. There is also a “Followers” tab which lists all your followers (which I have not included in the screen shots above).
6. The “Liked” tab displays all the Streamzoo uploads you’ve liked.
Streamzoo Profile Settings
You can customise all of your Streamzoo profile settings by clicking the icon “regulator” in the top left hand corner of your Streamzoo home screen or dashboard screen.
1. From the main settings screen you can find or invite friends, edit your Streamzoo profile, link to other services (like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc), set your home screen, enable/disable notifications, as well as rate Streamzoo or provide feedback.
2. The “Find Friends” option allows you to search for your friends from your Address Book, Facebook, Twitter or by username.
3. You can also invite your friends via email or SMS.
4. From the “Edit Profile” link you can edit all of your Streamzoo profile settings like your email address, username, password, full name and profile. From this section you are also able to specify whether your profile is private or not by checking the “Make Profile Private” box.
5. At the moment, Streamzoo allows you to share your photos to the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. You can setup your social sharing services through this screen by giving Streamzoo permission to post to your social network profiles.
6. You can select the page you’d like to start on app launch from here. You can choose between the “Popular”, “Feed” and “Dashboard”.
Streamzoo Home Screen Links
The Streamzoo home screen you’d like to start on launch can be selected in your profile settings section – I have mine set to dashboard.
1. From your Streamzoo profile dashboard, you can access the “Popular”, “Streams”, “Badges” and “Leaderboard” tabs. The dashboard also gives you quick access to “Feeds”, photo upload button and your activity feed (which displays your messages and shoutouts, your photos that have been liked and what photos the people you follow have been giving shoutout’s too.
2. The “Popular” tab displays a grid of popular photos.
Note: Like all other social photo sharing apps & services, I personally find some of the images that make it to the popular page quite laughable and I personally do not spend any time at all going through this stream. If you like cats, trout pouts, freshly varnished nails, or the latest fashion looks, you’ll love the “Popular” tab.
3. The “Streams” tab displays a list of the streams you can follow and is different to your “Followed #” tab in your profile in that it shows you other streams you can follow.
4. The “Badges” tab gives you an overview of all the badges you can earn and how you need to tag your pics and how many likes you’ll need before you’re awarded it. Further down this post I give you a detailed overview on what you need to do in order to earn some of these badges.
5. The “Leaderboard” tab displays who has received the most points in the Streamzoo community by day, week and month.
Streamzoo Photo Uploads
To upload a photo to Streamzoo, click on the camera icon on your dashboard screen.
Note: In this guide I’m only going to walk through on how to upload photos to Streamzoo but another great feature of Streamzoo is the ability to upload videos.
1. You can upload a photo or video to Streamzoo by either capturing a photo/video straight from your camera – your camera app will be launched if you do so or by using an existing photo or video from your media library.
2. The first edit you can make to your uploaded photo is to specify your photos size. What I like about Streamzoo is that you are not forced to crop your photos to a square frame, like Instagram which is something I really dislike about it! Have a play around with the different frame sizes to see how your photos look and then click on “Next” when you’ve made your selection.
3. From the next screen, you can tweak your photo using filters, borders, tilt shift effects and colours – the “filters” load first by default. Streamzoo currently offers you 18 filters like Lomo, C-41, Xprocess, B&W and Golden.
4. Like other social photo sharing apps, you have a selection of frames you can apply to the photos you upload.
5. The “Tilt Shift” shapes are all editable by pinching & releasing the active shape – I’m sharing this because it took me a while to figure this out…
6. The “Colors” screen is where you can choose to increase or decrease settings like the hue, saturation, brightness and contrast.
7. Once you’ve uploaded your image, applied a filter and other effects, you can give your photo a title (max 100 characters) and description (max 1000 characters). You can also share your upload on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
8. You can also tag your photo upload with hashtags and currently Streamzoo allows you to add a maximum of 10. Streamzoo keeps a dynamic list of your commonly used tags and presents them to you when you start typing in your tag.
9. You can set your photo to private by adding a check mark in the “Make Private” option. Streamzoo also allows you to geotag your pic (although this only seems to work if you use the camera built-in to Streamzoo as it does not enable you to geotag pics taken with your smart phones default camera).
Streamzoo Activity Feeds
The Streamzoo activity feeds allow you to keep track of who has liked or commented on your pics, or who has given your upload a “shoutout” – a social mention to all of the “shoutee’s” followers which is kind of like a social recommendation – and even which pics are being “shouted” by the other Streamzoo’ers you follow.
1. The first activity tab – the one with the envelope icon – is where you can see who has given you a shoutout, who has commented on your photos and also from where you can see any messages sent to you by other Streamzoo users.
2. The second activity tab – the one with an information speech bubble icon – is where you can see who has “liked” your photos or videos.
3. The third tab – the one with a heart beat monitor type icon – is where you can see which pics are being recommended by Streamzoo’ers you are following.
4 & 5. After you’ve been active on Streamzoo for a while your activity feed will start looking like this.
6. As you start following more Streamzoo photographers, your “shoutout” tab will start looking like this and it is one of the best ways for you to be introduced to other talented photographers.
Streamzoo Search – like Instagram – allows you to search for streams using keywords or hashtags, and you can search for users as well. I’m not going to go into too much details about searching on Streamzoo, as it is like any other search facility, ie input your search term and hit search… The 3 examples above show you how the search results are displayed, and the variations of your search terms.
Streamzoo Badges are Foursquare style badges that are unlocked when you upload photos or videos that have been hashtagged into certain streams, so don’t forget to use hashtags to describe your photos. They allow you to show your friends / followers what kind of photos you have taken. There are currently over 40 badges that you can earn…
How To Unlock Your Streamzoo Profile Badges
Some badges are unlocked simply by uploading a certain number of photos, receiving a lot of likes, or even by giving out many likes! Read on below to find out how you can unlock your Streamzoo badges:
1. Newbie Badge – Post a photo or video
2. Pro Badge – Earn 2500 points and get 20 likes on one upload
3. Socializer Badge – Follow 10 users and get 10 followers
4. Concrete Jungle Badge – Upload 5 photos or videos to the #architecture or #building streams and get 5 likes on each
5. Conversationalist Badge – Post 100 comments
6. Team Followback Badge – Follow 25 users who also follow you back
7. Photogenic Badge – Upload 10 photos to #me and get 25 likes on each
8. Hall Of Famer Badge – Earn 10,000 points and get 50 likes on one upload
9. Dog Lover – Upload 10 photos or videos to #dog or #dogs and get 7 likes on each
10. Cat Lover Badge – Upload 10 photos or videos to #cat or #cats and get 9 likes on each
11. Likeness Monster Badge – Like 10,000 uploads
12. Sunsetter Badge – Upload 10 photos or videos to #sunset and get 5 likes on each
13. Foodie Badge – Upload 25 photos or videos to #food and get 5 likes on each
14. Hey Lover Badge – Upload 8 photos or videos to #love and get 143 cumulative likes
15. Beach Bum Badge – Upload 25 photos or videos to #beach and get 5 likes on each
16. Sky Walker Badge – Upload 25 photos or videos to #sky and get 10 likes on each
17. Buzzworthy Badge – Receive 25 comments on one upload
18. Photographer Badge – Upload 25 photos to #photography and get 8 likes on each
19. iPhoneographer Badge – Upload 25 photos or videos with an iPhone and get 10 likes on each
20. Andrographer Badge – Upload 25 photos or videos with an Android device and get 10 likes on each
21. Like Catcher Badge – Receive 50 likes on one upload
22. Art Lover Badge – Upload 25 photos or videos to #art or #streetart and get 5 likes on each
23. Videographer Badge – Upload 7 videos and get 20 likes on each
24. Like Collector Badge – Receive 100 likes on one upload
25. Like Packrat Badge – Receive 200 likes on one upload
26. Like Hoarder Badge – Receive 300 likes on one upload
27. Coffee Lover Badge – Upload 10 photos or videos to #coffee or #cafe and get 15 likes on each
28. DSLR Badge – Upload 25 photos to #DSLR and get 5 likes on each
29. HDR Badge – Upload 25 photos to #HDR and get 10 likes on each
30. Epic Badge – Earn 250,000 points and get 300+ likes on an upload
31. Snowy Snowflakes Badge – Upload 5 photos or videos to #snow or #snowflakes and get 5 likes on each
32. Timberrr! Badge – Upload 5 photos or videos to #tree or #trees and get 5 likes on each
33. Flower Power Badge – Upload 5 photos or videos to #flower or #flowers and get 5 likes on each
34. Naturalist Badge – Upload 5 photos or videos to #nature or #trail or #hiking and get 5 likes on each
35. Surfin’ Safari Badge – Upload 5 photos or videos to #ocean or #sea and get 5 likes on each
36. Nikonista Badge – Upload 10 photos to #nikon and get 20 likes on each
37. Canonista Badge – Upload 10 photos to #canon and get 20 likes on each
38. Zoom Zoom Badge – Upload 5 photos to #telephoto and get 5 likes on each
39. Macro Badge – Upload 10 photos to #macro and get 10 likes on each
40. B&W Badge – Upload 10 photos to #bw or #blackandwhite and get 10 likes on each
41. Fisheye Badge – Upload 10 photos to #fisheye and get 10 likes on each
42. Sweet Treat – Upload 5 photos or videos to #icecream and get 5 likes on each
43. Vacay Badge – Upload 5 photos or videos to #vacation or #vacay and get 5 likes on each
44. Summer Sun Badge – Upload 10 photos or videos to #summer and get 5 likes on each
The Streamzoo Website
Unlike Instagram, Streamzoo has a fully-functioning website from which you can use the service to upload, edit and share your photos and videos, which makes the service more accessible to it’s user base.
From the Streamzoo website you are able to upload & edit images – so long as you’ve already uploaded at least one photo (or video) from the mobile app, as well as have a minimum of 5 followers). You can also follow users, browse photo streams, search for tags & users, comment on uploads, and way more.
The Features & Functionality I Think Are Missing on Streamzoo
While I think that Streamzoo is an awesome service overall, there are some features and functionality that I personally feel it is currently lacking (and which I hope are on the cards in future updates).
The current features and functionality that I feel are missing in Streamzoo are:
- Lack of EXIF data support in the mobile app – Streamzoo deletes EXIF data when a photo is uploaded using the mobile app – this is not the case when you upload images from their website, so I think it would be useful to give mobile users the option of opting in or out of EXIF data sharing when uploading photos from their mobile app.
- Photo Maps – Instagram recently gave its users the option to create a photo map of their photo uploads. This would be an amazing feature on Streamzoo.
- More than 10 hashtags – I think that it would be great if other users could hashtag your photos in the comments so that their is yet another way of sharing your uploads to their followers. At the moment you are able to add 10 hashtags to your photos – unlike Instagram which allows way more than that…
- Connecting Streamzoo to your Google+ Profile – While Streamzoo allows you to connect your profile to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Tumblr (and share your photos on Google+), I think that giving users an option to link to Google+ would be useful awesome.
- Reverse Image Search capabilities – I know this piece of functionality is easier said then done, but one of the common gripes I’ve seen being echoed (by a lot of the photographers on Streamzoo) is how some users are passing off photos they scrape off the web as their own. There have been campaigns by Streamzoo users to “name and shame” users that have been partaking in this practice. However as you can imagine, the more popular Streamzoo becomes and more users sign up, the larger the plagiarising becomes…
Streamzoo In Summary
Social photo sharing is definitely a growing niche when it comes to social networking and the new services that are constantly popping up seem to be doing better than the so far failed attempt by Google+ – a war which Facebook is currently winning with it’s recent acquisition of Instagram.
Streamzoo offers an encouraging and thriving online community for social photo sharing and is in my opinion a good quality photo sharing platform. I like how the service makes it easy to interact with fellow Streamzoo’ers in the form of likes, shoutouts, comments and messaging. In closing, Streamzoo deserves to do well in the competitive and fast-moving social photo sharing space.
In short, I stopped sharing my photos on Instagram when I signed up for Streamzoo… Streamzoo is my social photo sharing app of choice.
Do you use Streamzoo? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!
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