A friend on Facebook posted a photo of himself on a billboard at Times Square. Days later, his portrait was on a bus stop, and then on the cover of a magazine, and then on a Hollywood celebrity’s T-shirt.
His star hadn’t risen. Rather, he is one of millions of PhotoMania fans using the Israeli-made social image-processing service that provides state-of-the-art photo effects. Actually, 500 free photo effects just by clicking the mouse.
Trionity, the company that developed the popular application, launched PhotoMania as a Facebook app in February 2011. CEO Ofir Yosef tells ISRAEL21c that the “one-click photo effect” app scored 42 million unique users in two years with over 1.5 billion photos customized on the Facebook app.
So, it was only natural that the three young engineers behind this phenomenon would branch out to the cloud and mobile markets.
“We are targeting all platforms,” Yosef tells ISRAEL21c. “Photos are the new social core. A lot of apps are trying to become photo related apps. We are providing what no one else provides … turning your photo into an art work. I feel pressure when I see the new apps but they have a lot of ground to cover to reach the point we’ve already accomplished. Luckily we’re very strong in our user base.”
The figures Trionity supplies seem to support this belief. The new Web application garnered more than three million users in its first few months of being released in 2014 (one million on a monthly basis).
“That means that unlike other apps, we have a huge user base looking for PhotoMania,” says Yosef, who has trebled his staff to nine employees.
The mobile application allows users to add all sorts of filters and effects to their photos. The photos can be saved, added to albums, or even printed out.
“People like the different kind of abilities [the app gives], which are totally different than what they can get from their own cameras or apps,” he says.
Trionity’s latest funding round at the end of 2013 brought in a few million shekels (Yosef declines to get specific) but he says the company is worth tens of millions. “I’m not trying to sell the company. I’m still trying to become the best we can be.”
So far, Yosef’s first mission is humming along nicely: To be a “cross platform experience, aiming to be anywhere anytime, Facebook, web, mobile.”
The second mission is to catapult to the top of the photo editing apps in the mobile market. And though PhotoMania offers some amazing effects – artistic, vintage, funny — the undertaking is not so simple. There are umpteen photography editing platforms inundating the field. But with Israeli ingenuity on their side – “it’s very important for me to remain based in Israel” – Yosef says he and his team are certain PhotoMania will prove it’s far more than a Facebook app.
“Our mission is to be the best photo editor in the world; to be the place where ordinary photos turn into extraordinary works of art.”