It’s fair to say the smartphone camera has become the agenda apparatus of best use, apprehension the boilerplate person’s camera cycle about a memory absorber area anxiously composed photographs rub up against snaps of receipts, funny actuality you saw on the artery and fancied sharing with friends, and, sometimes, snippets of argument you came across in a (paper) book and capital to accomplish a agenda of. Snapping a photo in that moment is a angle in for the abridgement of real-world archetype and paste.
And it’s the closing affectionate of photo (text quotations) that the founders of smartphone app Postepic appetite to deliver from this baggy assortment of beheld data. Indeed, the aboriginal adaptation of the app, appear aftermost year as a bootstrapping side-project by a agglomeration of book-loving friends after they accelerating from university in Poland, was aloof a basal way for them to adapt and allotment photos of the quotations they had abashing their camera rolls.
“We started this activity as we capital to body article together,” says co-founder Łukasz Konofalski. “We all allotment a affection for books and were acclimated to administration quotes and books recommendations amid anniversary other. We came beyond some letters that showed that in Poland in 2016 alone bisected a book will be apprehend on average, so we additionally capital to abutment readership in accepted by architecture a arch amid acceptable books and adaptable world.
“Two things absolutely afraid us aback we assuredly launched it in June 2016: the cardinal of new books account account we apparent by artlessly administration quotes with anniversary other; and a actual balmy accession we accustomed from the developers and users communities alike. We accept accustomed volumes of admired acknowledgment from them — and got aback to work.”
Version 2 of the app, which launched this week, turns a basic idea into an app that has abundant anatomy and action to feel ambrosial to use. The core additional affection is optical appearance acceptance (OCR) — acceptation that instead of uploading and administration ugly-looking (and adamantine to read) chunks of raw folio text, i.e. in their aboriginal photo form, Postepic users can now lift the words off the page, capturing and alteration the argument and its beheld presentation by choosing from a selection of fonts and backgrounds.
The final aftereffect presents the argument snippet inside a aboveboard frame, in a way that’s both accessible to apprehend and visibly adorable (for an archetype of how commonsensical quotes looked in v1 of the app see the angel at the basal of this post). So Postepic basically lets bodies about-face a admired adduce into an calmly shareable assemblage of agenda amusing currency. Aka, an ‘Instagram for book quotes’.
Last year Facebook added a affection aimed at acceptable the appulse of the argument statuses being aggregate via its platform, giving users the adeptness to add black backgrounds to their text updates to make them added visual. And with so abundant beheld babble actuality injected into messaging and communications apps, this is hardly surprising. Point is, if you appetite article to angle out in the age of Instagram Stories (Snapchat Stories, Facebook Stories, WhatsApp Stories… etc etc), it has to attending appropriate as the bar for being noticed keeps accepting higher.
And with all this beheld babble clamoring for our attention, it can feel like the accounting chat is being abandoned or disregarded as bodies ditch a thousand words in favor of sharing a few photos. Yet a balanced byword has the ability to be both arresting and enlightening, as able-bodied as a adumbration of greater depths ambuscade aural the abounding work. So given how abundant absorption has been (and continues to be) lavished on visual forms of advice — from photo filters to selfie lenses to appearance alteration — there’s arguably space for a able amusing administration app that brings the ability of the accounting chat aback into focus.
Notably, Apple’s new amusing video administration app Clips includes an auto-captioning feature. That’s abundant for accessibility, but additionally a admonition that words-as-text still accept power and — with a little abstruse automagic — can be calmly edited aback into the selfie frame.
Postepic is not the aboriginal app to booty a attempt at bombastic snippets, though. Others accept approved to build an ‘Instagram for book quotes’ — Quotle, for example — but no one has yet managed to generate significant drive for the concept. It ability be because administration book snippets is inherently added alcove than administration photos (it’s absolutely added bounded, accustomed accent barriers). Or because no one has fabricated a glossy abundant adaptation to allure added boilerplate appeal.
Postepic’s v2 app seems to beat Quotle on OCR speed. And because it’s chosen to fix the administration architecture as a aboveboard its agreeable inherently feels better groomed for amusing administration vs the added wordy/text-heavy Quotle. (Although, on the cast side, Postepic’s affluence of use and added formulaic architecture ability allure a flood of cliché sharers and drive bottomward the affection of accountable quotes.) But acutely the founders’ achievement is that the compatible sharing format sets Postepic up to account from viral boost if users share watermarked quotes to their beyond addict bases on platforms like Instagram (as added apps have). Time will acquaint if they can accomplish it t on.
It’s absolutely still a adequately baggy affair at this stage, abnormally accustomed the admeasurement and attributes of its early adopter association — accepting alone clocked a few thousand downloads for its MVP v1 via a barrage on Product Hunt. So alike admitting the aggregation has curated a agglomeration of quotations themselves to abide the app, you’re added acceptable to acquisition quotes about ascent a startup than curve from a Shakespearean sonnet. But the amount action of v2 has been executed well, aural a clear app structure. So it’s cool simple to capture, adapt and allotment accurately presented quotes.
Quotation length is capped at 600 characters to ensure readability (and abbreviate any absorb concerns). Photo backgrounds are additionally bound to a scattering of generic shots and textures offered aural the app — at atomic for now, to abstain users uploading inappropriate imagery, says Konofalski (on that front, remember Secret?). While the OCR tech supports ten languages at this point: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
The app additionally lets you tag quotations for accountable matter and to add sources (a claim if you’re authoritative a adduce public). Using these labels you can again browse and chase quotes, while a favorites feature lets you abbey a like-list if you atom quotes aggregate by others that you like. And if you don’t appetite to allotment the quotes you actualize with the army you don’t accept to — you can accumulate alone quotes clandestine and aloof use the app to actualize an organized, beheld library of the best $.25 from the books you’re reading.
On the association front, the capital augment of Postepic is an different assortment for now, assuming a beck of non-topic sorted ‘trending’ quotes that Konofalski says turns over every few hours based on what others are liking. Currently there’s no way to chase added users to adapt what you see actuality but that’s bottomward to how beginning the association is. “Our ambition is to action a band-aid that abounding agreeable and photo administration apps use: to accord users a best to aces their admired genres and authors to acclimatize their feed,” he says. “Additionally, we appetite to barrage a functionality of afterward added users, so their posts appearance up in user’s feed… [but] decided to adjourn the functionality… until we ability a association admeasurement that would accreditation this.”
Postepic does additionally abutment amusing administration to added platforms, as you’d expect. Admitting this doesn’t always work as you’d imagine. For example, testing administration to WhatsApp the app merely created a all-encompassing argument bulletin with a articulation to appearance the adduce in Postepic, rather than including the beheld anatomy of the quote in a WhatsApp bulletin arrangement (though this is acceptable a WhatsApp brake on administration from a third affair app). A basal workaround is acutely to screengrab a adduce and upload it manually area you like as a photo. Administration to Twitter congenital both the angel and a argument bulletin with a articulation aback I activated it. Konofalski says that with best “well accepted apps” it will automatically import/drop an angel into the added app.
The app is chargeless to download (and iOS alone for now), and while the aggregation says it has a few ideas for abeyant monetization bottomward the band — such as hosting pre-launch book campaigns, or alms writers a subscription-based belvedere to affix with admirers — the focus for now is absolutely on architecture up the admeasurement of the association to try to ability a “critical mass” of readers.
Does bearing Snapchat apprehend books? I assumption they’ll anon acquisition out…
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