Foap Helps Sell Photos to Companies—But Members Get Control And A Cut

Facebook acquired Instagram for $715 million. Pinterest hit 2.5 billion monthly page views. We’re living in image-obsessed times. How should businesses adapt? Experts provide a snapshot.

Alexandra Bylund and David Los

Cofounders, Foap
The two Swedes started an online marketplace for everyday iPhone shooters. Members sell their photos to companies for $10, and Foap takes a 50% cut.


The Monetizers

Why is there a need for Foap?


Bylund: I worked in online marketing, so I know how hard it is to find a photo with a new and local feel. We wanted to create a market where you have fresh content every day.
Los: You don’t need to be a professional photographer today to snap a great picture, because the quality of cameras on our phones is getting better and better. Now there are tens of thousands of new photos being uploaded from all over the web. We wanted to build a product that can add value to these photos, for both users and companies.

How do you control the quality of the images?


Los: Initially we were reviewing all the photos manually, but now the community decides. People get to rate each other’s photos and give feedback.
Bylund: We’re also working on guidelines to educate our users. Some people may rate a photo as a five because it’s a nice sunset. But a photo of a cable box, which might look boring to some people, could be very useful for some companies. It’s about having the right mix.

Last December, there was public outcry when Instagram announced it would sell users’ photos to other companies. What did you learn from the backlash?


Los: This obviously showed that today’s social media users are 100% aware when it comes to the rights of their content. They are definitely not willing to just give it away for free. It’s really time for large brands to give something back to their customers who have been supporting them all this time.

[Photo by Will Sanders]

Fast Talk: The Visual Shift:

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Richelle Parham, The Shopping Expert
Akshay Kothari, The Headliner
Edward Flynn and Chris Jacobs, The Collaborators
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