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Bump Simplifies Photo Sharing, Seeks To Grab Bigger Slice of Picture Pie

Bump Simplifies Photo Sharing, Seeks To Grab Bigger Slice of Picture Pie
May 24, 2012 4:45PM

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The Bump app Web site allows quick sharing via Facebook, Twitter or instant message, but the new Bump app PC feature could be seen as a first step toward creating Bump Technologies' own sharing network, says analyst Neil Shah of Strategy Analytics. "Photo sharing is one of the things that propels the mobile system," he said.

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If you like sharing photos quickly from your phone without attaching cables or e-mailing, sharing app Bump has good news.

By going to http://bu.mp, Android and iPhone users who have downloaded the free Bump app can select the photos they want to share, then tap the phone's against the space key to initiate the transfer. No additional software or hardware is required.

Share and Share Alike

Bump previously allowed only sharing between smartphones equipped with its app.

Quick photo-sharing from increasingly sophisticated cameras is driving smartphone and mobile application development and sales as well as social media. On the same day Bump announced the new feature, Facebook unveiled a new specialized app for the iPhone to share multiple photos directly to Facebook, with 14 filters to alter them, reportedly developed before the social media giant acquired the Instagram filter app for $1 billion last month.

Photo sharing sites include Yahoo's Flickr, Instagram and Google's Picasa, though Facebook, with 900 million user accounts is still the king of photo sharing.

The Bu.mp Web site allows quick sharing via Facebook, Twitter or instant message, but the new Bump PC feature could be seen as a first step toward creating its own sharing network, says analyst Neil Shah of Strategy Analytics.

"Photo sharing is one of the things that propels the mobile system," Shah said.

He noted that like most tech startups, Bump is offered free but expects to add revenue-enhancing features later on.

"For the first few years they focus on getting the name out and building the brand," Shah told us. "Then they start expanding from light to paid versions."

Bump Technologies did not respond to our phone and e-mail requests for comment on the company's plans.

The Path to Profit

Founded by former Texas Instruments employees David Lieb, Andy Huibers and Jake Mintz in March 2009 and later introduced at a CTIA convention, Bump initially allowed users to share contacts and calendars, music, apps and photos, but scaled back its capabilities in its third version to focus only on contacts and photos. It also has a payment system that works with PayPal.

Sharing contacts quickly, the modern equivalent of exchanging business cards, goes back to the days of Palm Pilots in the 90s, which enabled users to beam their contacts to each other. But Bump added privacy features to prevent over-sharing, allowing users to select which information can be transmitted when users bump their smartphones together.

Looking ahead, the company may be betting on mobile advertising as a revenue source, or on accumulating user data.

"With the wealth of social data they have they can sell the information to marketers in the form of analytics," Shah said. "They definitely look forward to expanding in multiple directions."

Whether that will mean expanding into a crowded social network arena, he said, depends on how popular the photo transfer application turns out to be.

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