Leap is a new social photo sharing app that lets you create image-based challenges with your friends. We caught up with the Leap team to ask them about their thoughts behind the app, and discuss the new trend in social photo sharing.
What was the inspiration behind Leap?
When we began on this journey we were a corporate wellness game, trying to help companies get fit by doing health challenges. But we realized we needed to rethink things, mostly because we just weren’t completely passionate about the product ourselves.
So we reimagined it as something that the three of us would want to use – that would scratch our own itch as they say – and designed that from the ground up. When we examined what got us excited we realised that it had to start on the iPhone, had to involve photos, and had to let everyone create their own challenges – not just around health and wellness, and not just within companies. That’s what ultimately became Leap.
Why did you decide to start a photo app?
In doing challenges we needed some way to provide proof for accountability. There are different ways we could have done it, but photos were the perfect place to start. We’re users of apps like Foursquare, Instagram and Path, and we appreciated how integral photos were to those social experiences. There’s a density of information in a photo, so it’s been a great way to not only keep people accountable, but to also show off creativity and spur conversation and banter.
How have you found the reaction to Leap so far?
We’ve been blown away by the response. The variety of challenges we’ve seen has surpassed our expectations, and people are really getting excited about it. There have been great challenges we’ve seen—some of our favorites are the health-focused Work It Out, Inbox Zero about productivity, and even the art-focused Photo A Day.
But there have also been some really cool challenges that are more about sharing a social experience than winning a competition. Our moms and their friends have a Cup You Enjoy challenge where they share an interesting photo of their morning coffee in their favorite mug. It’s a gentle nudge that makes them take those few minutes for themselves, and with Leap they know they’re actually doing it amongst friends. It’s really cool.
Do you think that Leap encourages people to be creative, or do people use it more as a means to upload their quick snap shots?
The creativity in the photography has been awesome to see. Most people use it as an opportunity to express themselves. It’s cool to see how the challenges give the shots a particular context. People have even hacked together collages in other programs to upload into Leap. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some ugly shots of people’s cats, but a lot of users are uploading some really well composed photos to add to the conversation.
Do you think there has been more focus on image-based apps recently? If so, why do you think this is?
There has definitely been a focus on photo-sharing apps (great pun). The cost of technology has come down enough so that a lot of people own a smartphone with a decent camera. A photo conveys so much more information, personality and creativity than an email or a text message sent over the same network. It’s only natural there will be a number of apps helping users accomplish these things.
Lastly – and here is the big question! – what do you think is the future for photography? Do you think photography apps and apps such as Leap facilitate an interest in people to delve into photography, whereas they might not previously have been interested in this?
That is a big question! Thanks to the stuff we just talked about, there’s no doubt that photography will continue to explode and entice new generations of people to not only just snap photos but learn and appreciate the art of photography.
That means there’s a certain scarcity that’s being removed, not unlike what’s happening with the printed word. Anyone can write or take photos now, and that’s having all kinds of effects on culture. But there are a few things that will always remain true: art of any kind is about emotion and community, and we’ll always appreciate great pieces of art and their contributions to culture. Classic literature is still great on an iPad, and beautiful photography will still be moving no matter what its viewed on or how it was taken. That will always be the case.
Leap is available from the Apple App Store and is free to download.