Guy Kawasaki gave one of his patented demos, evangelizing for FilmLoop, a photo sharing company he has invested in that is run by his old friend (since 9th grade) and former Apple colleague Kyle Mashima and Prescott Lee. FilmLoop is the “killer app for the Macintosh,” Kawasaki said, joining MacPaint, Photoshop and PageMaker. Definitely a case of evangelistic exaggeration. [Watch a video clip of Kawasaki's pitch]
Kawasaki showed the Macintosh version, which is in pre-beta. A Windows version has been available since it was launched at Demo in September 2005. With all the different photo sharing sites existence, it’s difficult to stand out, but FilmLoop has some unique features. A loop is a string of images that scroll on a desktop screen. You can drag and drop imagees into a loop and share loops, allowing others to modify loops. Periodically, ads appear in loops (the business model), and the company has a destination and directory site, the FilmLoop Network, that includes topic channels and loops from commercial photographers and editors. Users subscribe to loops (no RSS yet) and can create tags (not searchable yet) and set parameters, such as allowing comments, turning printing and saving off (for commercial content, linking from an image to an external URL and access priviledges.
It's a clever way to share photos and view collections, and it's likely that Flickr and other photo sharing services will at least adopt similar looping (streaming slide show) capabilities, if not the drag and drop sharing. However, FilmLoop is taking its technology beyond just consumer, providing a broadcast mechanism for marketing via image loops.
In addition, the company has a deal with PhotoBucket.com that allows its members to convert Web-based photos into loops and partnerships with content partners such as eBay Motors, which has up-to-date image loops of cars by model that are actively being traded. Clicking on an image takes you to the specific auction page. Currently FilmLoop lacks ad targeting, mobile device support and any rights management for people who want to sell or share their images (such as Creative Commons). RSS support will be in the next release (soon) as well as converting loops to screen savers. FilmLoop isn't a killer app, but it's shaping up into a good app that will likely be acquired by some larger entity this year.