Facebook Photos was created by two people working with almost no budget, and owes its success entirely to one feature: tagging.
So says Facebook platform marketing director Katie Mitic, who was on hand last night to accept an award from the Churchill Club, a Silicon Valley event and business networking group that was celebrating its 25th anniversary.
As Mitic told the story, about five years ago Facebook knew that its users wanted to share photos because they were changing their profile pictures all the time — they were using profile pics as a way to keep their friends posted of their latest activities.
At the time, there were “tens” of other photo-sharing sites, but Facebook didn’t have the staff or budget to create a big full-featured competitor. Instead, it put two engineers on the project.
As Mitic says, “We couldn’t have a lot of features of these other sties — no high-resolution photos, no way to download them and put them in a pretty book. But we had tagging….That was the single feature that made it. It made us the largest photos experience you can find on the Internet.”
Small teams of programmers creating killer apps under pressure: that’s how a startup acts. And that’s exactly what Facebook needs now to come up with its next hit product.
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