Hong Kong based mobile start-up, Steply, is building a giant network of photo apps on Apple iTunes. Unlike any other photo app company, Steply is focused on building a platform that allows multiple photo apps with multiple styles and functions to share to the same mobile community.
This is possible through Steply’s software development kit (SDK) which allows developers to add the community directly inside their app.
Launched in August 2010, Steply currently has 8 applications in its network, including Labelbox, Photo Mess, Retro Camera and PhotoShake. Steply is also seed funded by a group of angel investors in U.S.
“Accepting 3rd party photo app developers allows us to scale our network much quicker and set ourselves different from other competitors like Instagram and Picplz’s API,” said Leon Ho, founder of Steply.
By building a photo app using Steply’s SDK, developers gain several key advantages: (1) Cross promotion within the network increases downloads, (2) Apps receive buzz through the network’s social sharing features, (3) Ease of building an app using Steply’s SDK, (4) Ready community of users. The network effect is working well so far: Steply has generated more than 3.5 million downloads. Below are just some of the apps from the Steply’s network.
“The success of Labelbox (#1 in 45 countries, top 5 in 77 countries in the photo category) is the proof of how our network effect could help developers to extend their reach,” said Leon.
“We will increase our channels from 3.5M+ downloads to over 10M+ unique downloads from the first batch of developers. We’ve only just started accepting 3rd party developers this month,” he added.
Steply’s easy-to-use SDK was echoed by Photo Mess’s developer when he shared his experience at Steply’s launch event in Tokyo earlier this month. “Using the SDK, it is easy to integrate my idea with Steply’s API.” he said.