Digisocial: Is VoicePhoto enough?

The launch of Digisocial’s Android app brought the photo-sharing social network to a new set of users. The core function of Digisocial is to allow friends and strangers to share photos with each other, with the option to record voice messages to accompany them.

“VoicePhoto,” as Digisocial calls it, includes the ability to chat with friends by recording your voice. But as mobile communication is a visual medium, the use of voice is curious. While it’s easier to record a message than type, I’m not sure if Digisocial offers an experience addictive enough to install it instead of other photo-sharing networks.

The Android app is missing features included in the iOS version, like “Add effects to your photos with built-in filters to give them style and brilliance.” Reviews of the app on Google Play are mixed, partially because of its lack of features.

Photo filters are standard in any camera app. They’re popular enough to even be included in Facebook and Twitter apps.

Photo-sharing social networks have a specific user population. From the casual user to the social influencer, there is a wide range of content that can be found to be reshared and digested by users.

Digisocial’s marketing shows a different image on the app store pages compared to what you see after installing.

Left is from Google Play. Right is from installed Android app

David Guo, CPO of Digisocial, addressed some of my questions about the app and how it stands out from other apps offering similar user experiences.

Digisocial is still relatively new, released in January 2013 for iOS and six months later for Android supporting Android 2.1 and up. This seems almost like a requirement for the app to have any chance of gaining an installation base because Android 2.3 still contains one of the biggest populations of users.

We’re a small and lean team and wanted to make sure we create a high-quality Android app that gives users the same great experience as iOS users. By concentrating our time just on Android, it did take a period of time but we think we’ve fulfilled our goal.

Compared to Instagram and Vine, which both offer video recording, what does Digisocial offer that’s different?

We currently have voice photos and HD PTT voice chat/messaging available. We have plans to include video but in an innovative way that is different than Vine or Instagram.

There is a concern for privacy and monitoring adult content on photo-sharing apps. How does the company address these issues?

All a user needs is to provide us either a Facebook ID, email or phone number to create an account and use Digisocial. Nothing more is needed. There are some additional options available to users depending on how they register:

– For Phone users, they can opt in to upload the hashed phone contact list so digisocial can help them find their friends who also are on the app.

– For Facebook users, their friend list is hashed and sent to the server in order to help them find friends who also are on the app.

– At no time will any of the above information be shared with any third party.

We have set up an opt-in feature for sensitive content which is defaulted off, an easy and quick report feature for users to report content and a team of moderators who review content 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Allowing creativity is huge with these social apps, what has Digisocial seen from its users?

We’ve seen a lot of different and innovative ways to use Digisocial: singers and bands taking a photo and then playing a song, artists taking a photo of their work and then engaging with their followers in voice to make it a more personal experience, people using post comments as real time voice chat rooms on a particular topic. It’s about people having fun and sharing that fun with others.

From Guo’s responses, it sounds like Digisocial is still gathering an audience and trying to define itself. While the company can push the VoicePhoto feature, the app is still a bit empty in terms of content that would make a user want to continuously use the app. From my own experience using the app, the majority of popular public posts are from female users and contain suggestive content meant for adults.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest; there aren’t any key users that create and share content that makes Digisocial a “must-have” app. There’s a lot of potential with Digisocial, but it hasn’t found the right audience to create a convincing argument for its continual use.

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