Featured Startup Pitch: LandID’s location-centric photo sharing platform was built as part of a quest to end the selfie
LandID is a photo sharing app that aims to capture and document important locations to share with future generations. All too often, meaningful social media content gets lost among all of the endless stream of selfies, food, and cat pictures.
I launched LandID as a way to bring more meaningful content to social media sites. The app works by allowing users to take one photo of their view and one of their feet ‘landing’ at that location, and combining the two into a single frame. Users then check-in at the location’s coordinates and write a caption that describes why that particular location is meaningful. The resulting LandID frame can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with individual contacts via email.
As an avid social media user and big fan of what social networks like Facebook and Instagram have to offer, I cringe while watching my teenage daughter take endless selfies and post them to these sites. I believe that social media has the potential to be very powerful; we can use it to document important moments in our lives, memories we want to share with future generations, and places we’ve visited.
I started my quest to end the selfie in early 2013. I am a Chicago native and successful investment banker, but I really wanted to see what I could do with my ‘anti-selfie’ idea, so I contacted some app developers and began to create LandID. The app officially hit Apple’s app store in early November, 2013, and has since offered a platform for social media users worldwide to document important locations.
Selfies are becoming so popular that ‘selfie’ was the Oxford English Dictionary word of the year in 2013, and even President Obama jumped on the trend. But I truly do not believe that this is what social media should be used for. Sure, capturing the simple, everyday moments in our lives can be important at times, but sending self-destructing selfies to everyone in our phone’s contact list through Snapchat is counterproductive, in my opinion. I think the best of social media comes from those who avoid the pictures of food, cats, and selfies, and aim to document the more meaningful places and moments in our lives, like visiting your childhood home, your favorite vacation spot, or your alma mater. My goal is to market LandID as a way to use social media in a more meaningful way so future generations will never wonder exactly where we stood or exactly how we saw the world. We can share with our children and grandchildren moments that our parents and generations before them could only describe.
How We Differentiate From the Competition
It’s no secret that many other photo sharing platforms exist, all with different features—i.e. frames, filters, and special effects. Instead of focusing on how a picture looks, we want to focus on the meaning behind an image. The social feed has forced images to become relevant for a few minutes in time, rather than something important to be held onto for years. LandID is different because it prompts users to treat these images as personal artifacts. Why is this specific location important? What connections does it make? We want to keep these images around for a long time, and not just have them get lost in a feed.
I envision travelers using LandID to capture the views of their travels and mark the coordinates where they stood. I think parents can use the app to remember all of their children’s first moments—where they stood when their child took his first step or when they dropped him off for his first day of school. Or, it can be used as a way to remember a first date, a college student’s favorite campus building, or to document our thoughts when visiting historical landmarks, like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The opportunities are endless; almost everyone uses smartphone cameras and photo sharing social media sites. The idea is to get them to do so in a more meaningful way.
LandID is currently a free app open to anyone with iOS. We’re incorporating plans for advertising and promotions.
We are currently working with initial investments and are looking to move on to the next phase of product development and marketing efforts to support growth.
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Founder: Paul Hawkinson
Year Founded: 2013