[I’m CEO of Zooomr]
Ok, now this is rich and gave me a good laugh this morning. Over at the zoto blog (they are a photo sharing site out in Oklahoma that is accusing Zooomr of “copying” them) apparently someone who goes by kordless is pissed off because someone wrote a blog post about Google acquiring Zooomr.
Their evidence that we are copying them and “blatently ripping them off” seems to come down to three things best I can tell.
1. We are coming out with a thumbnail view of photos on Zooomr. Yes, zoto would seem to think that they now own the thumbnail view.
2. That we have a lightbox mode (and have had for quite some time now).
3. And that we are using heart icons for our faves (apparently they say they had used hearts to designate faves in some demo release or something that I assure you neither Kristopher or I have ever seen).
My reply to zoto (I’d reply in the comments section of their blog but they don’t have a comments section on their blog) is that this is the craziest pile of BS that I’ve ever heard of. Well, not quite the craziest, Yahoo/Flickr trying to actually patent the concept of rank and relevance for a photo sharing site ranks probably a tad higher, but in response to your WTF, I’ll reply back WTF?
Believe it or not neither Kristopher Tate (our Founder and lead developer) or I have ever spent any time at all on your photo sharing site. We are not checking out your demos for things to steal. etc. etc. etc.
If you want to pick a fight, I’m all for it though.
Look, Zooomr gets attacked all the time. Usually though we get accused of copying Flickr not someone like zoto. My response to you is to grow up and build a better site. You don’t own the thumbnail view, you don’t own the lightbox view, and if you want to file a patent app for the concept of using a “heart” to denote a favorite go for it. The thumbnail view and lightbox view were around a long time before Zooomr, zoto or flickr were even invented. In fact light box has been a feature on Zooomr since day one and I think we actually implemented it before you did so maybe you are copying us.
I think people should worry more about innovating and creating the best photo sharing in the world than bitching about how people are copying them anyways. Look, is much of Zooomr inspired by other internet properties, absolutely. Just as Flickr was inspired by delicious to come up with tagging photos we are inspired by people all the time. But do you hear us bitching about the fact that we were doing geotagging of photos and then a few months later Flickr miraculously came up with geotagging? Or the fact that Zooomr is localized in multiple languages and now Flickr is planning on localizing in multiple languages? Of course not.
If Flickr or zoto or anyone wants to geotag or localize or include any of the features that you find on Zooomr I say more power to you. Instead of being proprietary, think about the fact that competition benefits us all and in the end drives us all to innovate more and more.
Competition is a GREAT thing. The users benefit in the end. When Zooomr doubled Flickr’s limits for bandwidth allocations for Pro accounts do you know what Flickr did? They one upped us and a month latter made their Pro accounts entirely unlimited in bandwidth (although they do still restrict your photos to 10MB which sucks if you happen to be shooting with a Canon 5D). So what did Zooomr do? We moved our account limits for Pro and FREE accounts to unlimited bandwidth one upping Flickr even more. We’re still waiting to see Flickr try to match our “no limits” photo sharing for both Pro AND free accounts but we’re doubtful that they can match this one.
Who wins when this happens? The user wins. Assuming we can all stay in business (and I believe at least Zooomr and Flickr can) the user wins in the end.
So rather than complain about the fact that something as inane as Zooomr using a heart for our faves (and by the way this isn’t something new at all, we’ve been using the heart for faves ever since we introduced faves on Zooomr) my suggestion is that you STFU and instead build something better than either Zooomr or Flickr.
If, on the other hand, attacking Zooomr (knowing its hot-headed argumentative CEO and all) is just some way to try to generate additional exposure in the blogosphere for zoto, well, then, congratulations, it probably just worked for you.
By the way your home page looks an awful lot like Flickr’s give the gift of Pro page.
Now, who wants to come after Zooomr next? Snapfish? Pikeo?
Update: This is good. I have figured out a way to comment on the Zoto corporate blog where they attack us but I have to pay them $29.99 to do it. At least these guys get blogging.