Storylize is a Sri Lankan startup that helps users tell stories through pictures. It is the brainchild of Nayana Samaranayake, an ex-Googler who is back in Sri Lanka after working in the Web Search Infrastructure team for the world’s most heavily used search engine.
Sharing stories in the form of a narrative seems to be the crux of Storylize. Say you go on a trip – Storylize will help you make a story out of it. What were the preparations like? What happened on the way? What else did you see on the way? This app will let you connect all these aspects into a story, which can then be viewed in an album format. All this without the hassle of sifting through thousands of pictures and trying to figure out how they all fit into a story. How? Because you upload them as you go, thus eliminating the overhead of doing it after the trip.
How do you get it?
You could either go here or download it directly from the iOS app store. Once downloaded, it will link up with your phone number (the same way WhatsApp does) and you’re good to go. The main purpose of using a phone number as opposed to an email login, according to Nayana, is the fact that it makes linking up with friends a lot easier by eliminating the need to go around browsing through usernames.
Storylize features three basic levels of storytelling: Public, Friends and Private. Public stories will be accessible to anyone on the platform, whereas ‘Friends’ level sharing allows only your friends from within the app access. Private stories are yours to keep.
Storylize features some cool tricks up its sleeve, which makes for a rather fresh user-experience when sharing pictures..
Group Stories – Storylize lets you collaborate for a group story. Much like a WhatsApp group-chat, this allows for multiple perspectives to contribute to the same story.
Privacy – You choose who gets to be a part of each story. Not only does this allow for ease of mind when sharing pictures, it also helps eliminate unnecessary clutter that’s usually associated with sharing stories elsewhere (we’ve all had to deal with those weird comments and unnecessary shares).
Security – Storylize uses cloud-storage to store all of your content so you can stop worrying about backups and focus on telling your stories. For the time being, it will allow you to download your stories to your mobile device, one album at a time.
Shareability – Although the concept is app based, sharing is not exclusive to users of the app. Storylize will let you tell your stories to audiences who don’t use the app. Share the custom URL with anyone who wants to view your story and they have access without installing the app or ‘friending’ you.
Storylize allows for captions to go with the pictures, but they are capping it at 75 characters, a measure taken to ensure that the users focus on pictures to tell the story.
The app also features text-only-frames. This, for instance, is for when a chef is sharing a recipe, or a backpacker is trying to separate different sections in their story, The text-only-frames will come in handy in expressing what’s best said in words.
Ultimately, if you’re the kind of person who’s stopped and thought ‘where’s the story?’ as you were uploading one of your many thousand snaps from a vacation to Facebook, Storylize is the app for you.
Backpackers in their various tours, journalists who want to keep their followers updated on a story as it unfolds or even a stay-at-home-mom trying out a new recipe for the first time with a circle of friends, there’s quite a few scenarios where Storylize shines when it comes to telling a story. And unlike any other platform, the way it’s set to share, you won’t be annoying people who aren’t interested in following your story. Not too clear on how all this falls into place? Here’s a few sample stories that should help clarify things.
If your life consists of tinkering with machines and guzzling coffee while one of your many cats nap on the table, this might not be the app for you. Keep in mind that Storylize is built with telling stories in mind, don’t have stories to tell? You’re better off sticking with Instagram where you can post pictures of your coffees and cats away to your heart’s content.
Although they only have the iOS app, there will be an Android version of the app coming out soon. Storylize is also looking at incorporating a follower-model into stories, which will let your followers view your story in real time.
Another new feature, set to come out towards the first week of November, will allow users to make videos out of their stories and share them on social media platforms.
Storylize focuses on simplicity and privacy to narrate a story using pictures. Even though this is a great concept with lots of potential, finding the ideal demographic of users and generating the traction to make a name for itself could be an uphill challenge. Is it worth the trouble? Try the app out and let us know!