Darren Waters

Zoooming to Japan

  • Darren Waters
  • 10 Mar 08, 13:25 GMT

Last year I met Kris Tate, the young developer behind web 2.0 start-up, Zooomr, a photo-sharing site.

He had moved to San Francisco at 17 to get closer to the heart of the web community and built Zooomr as a way of sharing photos with friends and family.

He has worked to build a community around Zooomr and has introduced many features that big budget rival Flickr, owned by Yahoo, does not have, such as Twitter integration and localisation into more than 10 different languages.

But one of the criticisms of Zooomr was that it lacked the server ooomph of rival Flickr, and was often slow to use.

Kris got in touch with me this week to say he's made the move to Japan, where Zooomr is now based.

He's got new servers up and running and a new version of Zooomr released.

He said: "Japan has always been a centre for hardware technology, so it's rich in high-speed internet/connectivity and mobile devices as well.

"And although Japan may be a boon for hardware companies and solutions, it hasn't had much direction when it comes to software or community so, I've ventured across the pond to set up shop here.

"In short, I believe the next future of the web is going to happen in Japan. The biggest thing holding back places like Silicon Valley is the hardware and infrastructure, along with all of the big guys (Google, Yahoo etc) having already sucked up core talent."

I've been using the new version of Zooomr, albeit briefly, and it certainly feels more responsive than previous iterations. So if you're looking for a new photo-sharing site to join, then I'm sure Kris would welcome your participation.


Yes. Zooomr is super fast now. And looks great too.

Yes, Zooomr is a fantastic product! Particularly impressed with the new Zipline Twitter like feature. Not sure if you don't WANT to give up Twitter? Don't. Zooomr will also echo your Zipline to your Twitter account. Wonderful!

  • 3.
  • At 03:51 PM on 10 Mar 2008,
  • Rory wrote:

Is this the same Zooomr that copycats Flickr's features? That doesn't delete photos from their servers or make them web-inaccessible when you delete them from the site? I'm glad to hear the site is improving--the marketplace vision is still enticing, even if it was promised with a revision a year ago--, but color me skeptic until I see it getting the basics right.

  • 4.
  • At 04:32 PM on 10 Mar 2008,
  • Iam wrote:

It's too bad that Zooomr has turned into what it is now. The focus on photography, the photographer, stock photography, selling your photos, and so on, have all gone out the window over the course of the last year. It's understood that something needed to be done in order to get Zooomr funded and supported, and that Japan was the way to get that done, but lets face it, Zooomr 2008 (Mark IV, whatever you'd like to call it) had almost NOTHING new for the photographer (aside from a few patches that were promised with MarkIII) and EVERYTHING for the mobile, cameraphone, IM, Twitter crowd. I know there is a market for it, but lets face it, Zooomr is less and less about *real* photos and more about being another social mashup. One year ago, Zooomr was full of semi-pro, sometimes pro, and extremely talented photographers, now, it has turned into a "see how many friends I can have, see how many faves I can get" MySpace like social exchange.

Yes, there are still a few hold-outs who are talented photographers, but nothing compared to where things were during the hype of MarkIII. Those days are gone, and sadly, it looks like it's for good.

O,alright! I've been using Photomax for picture sharing but now you've twisted my arm. Holy cow! Are there really 3 o's or noughts in Zooomr? I'ma check on it.

I couldn't say how it would work for you but if you wanted to also earn income from simply sharing your pics, you might want to check on Photomax at

Go check on it while I'm off to check on Zooomr

It's nice to see some press about Zooomr. Kristopher and the new team in Japan have done a great job with the new release of Zooomr. It's faster, smoother, and several of the most annoying bugs have been fixed.

The community that is Zooomr is one of its greatest assets. Come check it out!

I earnestly want zooomr to succeed because flickr needs competition.

Whats kept me from Zooomr is the lack of interest groups; places where people who practise a particular type of photography can meet, critique and swap ideas.

The social networking functions should be able to coexist with the hobby/profession.

  • 8.
  • At 02:12 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dan wrote:

hmmm. seems like an 'also-ran' kinda site.

Does the world really need a site that says
'Sort this by Awesomeness?'

Really? I'll leave all my pics on flickr, thanks.

  • 9.
  • At 09:27 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Nouahd wrote:

Zooomr looks good. Haven't been following it that much, but now that it has gone through some changes I'll be checking it out.

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