Storehouse

February 2015

I’ve been playing with Storehouse lately (see Rites de passage, Cinque Terre, Street Art B and Musée du quai Branly) and it’s great. For those of you who haven’t heard of Storehouse, it’s basically an iPhone/iPad app for storytelling. Building beautiful stories is painfully simple; while Storehouse delivers the best experience in the app, all stories are automatically being rendered as responsive web pages, mimicking the app look and feel quite well. Everybody can see and share the stories, no matter which device.

Storehouse as a mobile/touch-only content creation tool (horrible word) is very well executed. Same goes for the story design. Everything looks elegant, premium. As Vincent Laforet explains, even the TOS are OK – which is so not a standard in this field.

As soon as I started building my first pages in Storehouse it hit me that this is exactly what Flickr needs. Flickr, still from a platform perspective a fine option to store huge numbers of photographs online, has lost much of the buzzing around pictures that made it so fascinating in the early days (at least in my subjective perception).

The “album”, as Flickr calls bundles of photographs, hasn’t much evolved. It’s a monotone grid/list of photographs. Since I started using Twitter or Facebook nobody I know has shared a Flickr album, ever.

What people hunger for is a beautifully crafted, awesome album design (think of varying picture sizes, nice responsive clustering) and an option to add text modules or quotes in classy fonts. Enter Storehouse. The seamless interface between Storehouse and Flickr makes it easy to handle Flickr albums like a back catalogue and re-celebrate them in a new, fresh look on Storehouse.

There’s a problem looming for Flickr because providing cheap, worry-free photo storage – a big deal back in 2004 when Flickr took off – is a commodity now. Nobody cares. But people care a lot about easy ways to build great looking stories they can’t wait to share.

Update, May 2015: Flickr has redesigned its website and apps.