Sharing pictures online is nothing new. Here’s a link to the first picture ever posted on the web. It’s famously about an all female parody pop band, Les Horribles Cernettes. Most of us haven’t had the pleasure of listening to their music, but we have all followed in their 1992 wake of posting pictures online. There’s no data for how many graphic files have found their way to the internet and then propagated out through the web. If someone can hazard a modestly accurate estimation of the cumulative size of the graphic files on the web since it’s inception we’ll give them ten points! If they can come up with a ball park figure for the data transferred that’s an extra five. That’s actually a Google-esque interview question for those wanting to work for the famed search engine. Likely, someone in their halls could determine a such a figure.
For the rest of us we aren’t really interested in things like data transfer and the mildly intriguing history of pictures online. We care about the here and now. How can I best share pictures online?
Not surprisingly, there are many ways to share pictures on the web. From social networks to sites set up strictly for that purpose, there are hundreds of ways to upload and share images. Well, now there’s one more, and this one’s a good one. Picuous. Picuous is a site that allows you to upload your pictures and embed them anywhere on the web. This sounds like a familiar story, but it doesn’t end there. Once embedded it provides a full set of metrics for the picture. It also has sharing features so people can easily let their friends know about it. It’s like the Vimeo of picture sharers.
Working with Picuous is easy. First you register for a free account. From there you can upload pictures and then embed them on any web page. There are actually two ways to upload them. First is the old way. You click on the Add a Picture link which brings up a dialogue box to select the picture from your hard drive. Next is the new way to upload pictures. You drag and drop it from your computer right into the browser, placing it on the same Add a Picture button. Once you have a fair sampling of images uploaded the fun can begin. You can click on the publish button which brings up the embed code. This isn’t an HTML tag from 1992. This is the iFrame tag which puts a small snippet of Picuous’ website right into the page it’s embedded on. What this means is the pictures will load really fast, and it brings over all the sharing options within the picture ‘frame.’ Just like Vimeo or YouTube, when you move your mouse over the picture sharing options appear.
For the curious, an example is posted below. You can click the Like button or share it. Sharing sends it out to the social network of your choosing, or you can get the embed code and place it into any web page. Included in the code is a link back to your website so as to give credit where credit is due. All stats including likes, embeds, views, and shares will appear in your picture profile page.
Picuous is in their beta phase right now rolling out new products as quickly as their crack team of developers can. They hail from Paris, a city that based upon my own personal observations, has more cameras than lovers. It’s quite fitting that whence comes the first easy to share picture viewing network on the web.
Many picture sites are designed to try to stop the spread of pictures online. One person uploads it and others aren’t encouraged or allowed to share it anywhere else on the web. They get so fussy about copyright and place humongous watermarks across their otherwise nice pictures. Picuous is for those of us who realize we aren’t Ansel Adams and want to share our pictures online. As noted in their FAQ, to share videos you have YouTube and Vimeo, for audio there’s SoundCloud, and for writers there’s Scribd- all platforms that allow others to embed their content. For pictures there’s no clear and easy way to do so that contains all the stats and sharing options. Well, now there is. With Picuous.
Unfortunately the good people at Picuous decided to remove their service as of 18 Nov 2011. It’s a great service- looks like there’s not a huge demand for YAPSS. (My newly formed acronym for Yet Another Picture Sharing Service.)