Entrepreneurs are tasked with the unique role of creating a disruptive, creative and original product, service, or business. Many famous entrepreneurs are most well-known for their ability to change the course of history with an invention, especially during the rise of the digital age and technology. The establishment and evolution of social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Snapchat have given entrepreneurs like Tom Oswald a motive to change the photo-sharing landscape forever.
Tom Oswald, CEO and founder of ClickASnap, made it his mission to create a photo-sharing platform to provide photographers with a safe environment to share their work and create a new revenue source simultaneously. While social media giants provide an excellent creative platform for artists and photographers to showcase their talent, Oswald longed to create a digital space to benefit creatives. Artists needed a platform where they could keep the rights to their work and avoid contending with ever-changing algorithms designed to force them to spend money on essentially useless advertising.
“I wanted to spend my time and money building my own business, not reinforcing someone else’s business,” Oswald said, regarding leading social media platforms.
However, creating a new media-sharing platform proved to be no simple feat. ClickASnap’s journey began almost a decade ago, while Oswald was still CEO at RedDragon Records in England. He took note of the rising multimedia-sharing trends within the digital landscape, such as the rumored creation of “YouTube Red.” This new service, launched in late 2014, would go on to serve as the initial foundation for YouTube’s current premium subscription. As a record label owner, Oswald feared platforms like YouTube Red would end the independent music market as it was known at the time.
In response to multi-media sharing platforms like YouTube Red, Oswald decided to take out a loan and launch Videscape. Oswald’s intention behind Videscape was to create a video-sharing platform without taking away an independent artist’ power or the ability to monetize their own music. In its first year, Videscape hit over one million users. However, by 2017 YouTube Red had dropped its plans, and the unique selling point behind Videscape was over.
Despite YouTube’s plans to halt and revise its premium subscription plan, Oswald was still focused on continuing his mission to provide creatives with a safe media-sharing space. He began to consider applying the idea behind video monetization, offered by Videscape, to photos. By 2017, the idea behind ClickASnap was on its way to full execution.
“When YouTube Red came out, I felt inspired to create something to take on the industry giant and fight for independent artists,” Tom said. “That’s when we built Vidscape, which eventually led to ClickASnap.”
Oswald and his team at ClickASnap offered a unique opportunity for amateur and professional photographers; a social media platform that prioritized independent artists’ work, without the fine line print that forced creators to waive their licensing and rights upon creating an account like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To achieve this, ClickASnap offers its users a portion of its own revenue based on the amount of views their work receives. Oswald also utilizes a WIPT system to protect images shared on ClickASnap as a way to provide extra security measures for its users.
On top of becoming a safe space media-sharing platform, ClickASnap also prioritized fostering organic interactions between its users. Its dashboard is laid out in chronological order, a feature that has now become uncommon on social media platforms, so that its users can see each post submitted in real time. Currently, these social network giants now rely on a strategic engagement or promotional algorithm, which requires these platforms to track and hoard massive amounts of user data. Instagram, for example, is constantly changing its algorithm and features in hopes of creating a personalized social media experience for each user. However, the algorithm trend can be frustrating for artists trying to grow their brand or share their work.
Moreover, Oswald has learned the importance of growing, evolving and adapting as a part of creating a digital startup like ClickASnap. Despite being originally launched and marketed as a free service that would provide its users with unlimited photo access, Oswald began to notice a photo spam issue plaguing the ClickASnap website. In response to this, ClickASnap launched brand new features available to those who purchased a premium subscription plan.
In spite of the website’s former spam issue, Oswald was able to take advantage of the issue and create a new opportunity and experience for users looking to grow their brand on a larger scale. Instead of continuing to provide users with unlimited uploads, ClickASnap now allows its free members to post up to seven photos daily. The decision to launch a premium subscription resulted in a solution to ClickASnap’s spam issue, which ultimately boosted its users’ experience and the startup’s revenue.
The startup also created a built-in social media management system, using automated marketing software (AMS), in order to allow its users to schedule a variety of photos from their ClickASnap account to then be distributed to a user’s other connected social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook.
Similarly to other industry giants, ClickASnap has also learned to place a tremendous emphasis on providing social engagement for its users. Social media platforms with interactive story-sharing features have provided its users with opportunities to create and participate in polls, quizzes, or even question and answer sessions.
To provide its users with a more community-driven experience, ClickASnap now gives its users the opportunity to participate in “Ask Me Anything” sessions. These sessions allow industry influencers, as well as day-to-day users, to further connect with their followers for a more optimized experience. Oswald and his team at ClickASnap firmly believe that the key to loyal, dedicated users is to continuously provide them with new and exciting opportunities for social engagement while consistently working to optimize their users’ experience.
According to Tom Oswald, ClickASnap receives an average of 10,000 new users a day and 100 million page views per month. In reality, the journey to achieving these numbers took years of research and evolution due to the ever-changing nature of the social media landscape. However, Oswald’s mission remains the same. In the future, he hopes to see independent artists receiving both recognition for their digitally shared content, as well as proper financial compensation for their creative efforts.
To sign up for a free account on ClickASnap or find more information about the startup, visit http://www.clickasnap.com.