This NYC Startup is Putting a Whole New Spin on Your Pics



Let’s be honest, deep down we all love recognition a little bit. And what better way is there to get recognition than by competing with your friends in front of the whole internet? With SocialBattles you have the ability to challenge others to a “photo-off” where you share your pics, which get ranked by other users. As both a competitor and a voter of other pictures, SocialBattles is an exciting app whenever.

Today we sit down with Sandro De Moraes, one of the brothers who created the app, as he gives us an overview of their company and how they plan on attacking the mobile photo sharing market.

Tell us about the product or service.

SocialBattles is a free iPhone app that lets you compete (“battle”) with your photos and get globally ranked based on battle results. Users create photo battles with any battle title and challenge others. Beta users have labeled it “competitive Instagram” and “Instagram on steroids”.

How is it different?

SocialBattles allows users to transform their everyday photos into fun and exciting competitions with friends, family and other SocialBattlers.

Users can vote on battles, check out battle results and discover great photos and photo creators through the World Hashtag Rankings™.

If you really want to get into the nitty gritty, then…

The sharing is different – Instead of just broadcasting, you share through photo “battles”. Think you have great cloud photos and other types of photos? Well, now you can find out.

The consumption is different – Instead of just viewing and/or liking a photo, you get to cast your vote for the photo you feel best represents that battle’s title. After you vote, you get to see the battle results, i.e. who is winning the battle and by what percentage.

The discovery is different – We created World Hashtag Rankings™, which provides a world ranking of photo creators for each hashtag based on battle results. This gives photo creators an opportunity to build a reputation in any hashtag they care about. Users discover great photos and photo creators through the World Hashtag Rankings™.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

We are in the mobile photo sharing market. I have not found a credible estimate of the overall market size / value, but Citigroup analysts have recently placed a $35 billion valuation on Instagram.

What is the business model?

  • In-app-purchases
  • Brand sponsored battles

What inspired the business?

We previously launched an award-winning hip-hop battling website with the same concept that became very popular. We felt the concept would transfer well to a photo app. We asked current Instagramers what they thought about the idea and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, so we decided to build it.

Why does gamification lend itself well to a photo app?

The gamification of photo sharing gives us a new way to share our stories, be creative and connect with people from around the world through photos. It creates a rich and unique lens through which to share and participate in the world’s moments. The World Hashtag Rankings™ gives photo creators, so inclined, an opportunity to build a reputation in any hashtag they care about.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

  • Release Android version
  • Close seed funding

What is the one piece of business advice that you never got?

Building a startup from scratch is 10x harder than it appears, but still worth it!

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?

Dan Porter because I think he would quickly get what we are doing.

Why did you launch in New York?

I live in NYC and the connections that come from being in the world´s number 2 startup ecosystem are phenomenal.

What’s is your favorite restaurant in the city?

This is an easy one I would have to say Churrascaria Plataforma.


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