You can’t swing a stick on the Web these days without hitting a photo or media sharing service. Some of the most popular ones like Flickr andPhotobucket have become an indispensable part of our online lives. Among the most recent services to enter the game is Expono, a photo sharing, organizing and protecting service with added features like GPS tagging and the ability to connect with social media servicesFacebook, Twitter and Friendfeed. Expono has everything you would expect to find on a media sharing site like online backup, easy sharing, albums and tagging, but adds a whole bunch more features that you might not expect all in one place. It is certainly worth taking a look at.
In September of 2008, Expono went live with its site and made the bold choice to go with 100%cloud computing. Other sites like SmugMug have done this with great success and it feels like a growing trend. The lower cost and ease of scaling made cloud computing a sensible choice for Expono and the company set about building its incredible array of features. Those features, combined with the company’s talented and ambitious team based in Oslo, Norway, make Expono a contender in an increasingly crowded media sharing marketplace.
Expono is a “freemium” service that allows its non-paying users to transfer 10GB of data a month, use 1GB of storage space and have one custom group. The $45 Plus account allows for 100GB of monthly data transfers, 10GB or more of storage space and up to 10 custom groups. Plus users also have access to a lot more features.
You can go here to view a complete list of Expono’s features. It’s an impressive list, if not a little overwhelming, and you simply need to have a look for yourself. Here are a few of the main features we like:
Custom Location in Maps:
Geotagging has become a pretty popular thing to do with photographs. It’s just interesting for us to see on a map where a photo was taken. It gives viewers added perspective, helps the photographer better organize their collections and could even help businesses attract customers. Expono has a feature that lets users drag a pin, place it on a map where the photo was taken and give that place a name for future reference. It’s a simply but useful tool and a nice feature.
Expono has not forgotten our Spanish-speaking friends and allows English-Spanish translations. The company is frantically working on translation to other languages like Danish, Russian, French and Hebrew and is actively searching for help translating other languages.
Full Quality Photo Sharing on Facebook:
Expono allows users to share full quality photos and activities and connect on Facebook. It looks pretty straightforward and easy to do:
“Simply go to Facebook Settings on Edit Services menu, press the “Connect with Facebook” button and follow the instructions. It takes 10-30 seconds!”
“After your accounts have been connected, you will be able to tag your Facebook friends on your photos like any other contacts you already have in your address book. With your Facebook friends now on Expono, you can add them to your contact groups, give them access to the photos you want them to see and tag them on your photos.
You can post stories to your wall when you favorite a photo, comment or tag a Facebook friend on Expono or just be able to tell the story behind your precious memory.
Face Tagging and Sharing to FriendFeed and Twitter:
Expono has extended its integration with Friendfeed and Twitter that allows interaction between users of those services:
“Earlier we had automatic photo uploads announcements to Friendfeed and Twitter every time you uploaded new photos to Expono. The functionality allowed our users to inform their followers and subscribers about newly uploaded photos in a innovative way. Now we have extended that to include direct sharing of public album and photos right from the Share menu, giving your subscribers and followers access to view your full quality photos with just 1 click.”
Basically, you connect your Expono account with FriendFeed or Twitter, tag your friends’ photos, add them to your contact groups and give them access to the photos you want them to see.
Oh, did we mention Expono’s context aware media RSS that allows users to enter a URL into your Wii Opera browser URL field, run it fullscreen and watch a slideshow on your TV? Don’t forget authenticated RSS feeds, GPS support, photo editing, iPhoto photocasting, EXIF and IPTC support and much, much more. We also like that Expono takes your privacy very seriously.
This hungry startup (a core team of six, including Co-Founder and CEO Magnus Jonsson) means business when it says there are other exciting things in the works. Expono team member Daniel Bentes hinted at the company’s interest in a developing a mobile site, similar to Flickr’s new mobile site, that uses Apple’s Core Location service right from Safari. Bentes says, “this kind of location awareness will be the future of not only search and discovery services, but even ad-based and paid content, giving even more value to viewers and readers alike. As of now, Apple’s Core Location is the prime example of this ability”. He adds that the company “…would like to implement the same kind of functionality on Expono.com for the coming iPhone version. But would REALLY love to implement it on the main web version as well, enabling this functionality to an even broader audience”.
Like we said, there are other sites out there that do similar things. But when you combine all these things together and they are done well (in this case they did a great job), you get a very powerful and useful tool that just may be worth forking over your hard-earned money for. If you don’t want to take our word for it, check out what our friend @CleverClogs had to say about Expono over on Friendfeed. She is quite knowledgeable and discriminating about such matters. You might want to also go to the Expono Customer Support Community on Get Satisfaction to see what others are saying and to throw in your own two cents.
Be sure to read the Expono blog for even more information and follow the company’s Twitter updates @expono. The service is still in Beta, but you should have no problem getting an invite if you sign up at Expono.com.