This month, a unique iOS app launches with one goal in mind – to publish pictures worth 1,000 words.
On the surface, Pressgram looks like other photo sharing apps. But there’s a major difference in philosophy between it and it’s competitors — you control your content and you publish it on your WordPress powered website.
The app originated when creator John Saddington (@saddington) grew tired of the ever changing ownership of his favorite startup sites as well as the uncertain feeling he had about who really owned the content he was sharing every time he hit publish on his phone.
With a little help from an enthusiastic community on Kickstarter and a few grueling months of coding, Saddington has Pressgram ready for launch.
I threw my support behind the project via Kickstarter and I’ve been privileged to take part in both Alpha and Beta testing.
The more I use the app, the more potential I see. This app really has the opportunity to shake things up in the photo sharing realm.
I’m already showing the app off to a number of clients and friends and they all quickly realize the potential of having a super easy app that publishes their content directly on their website — instead of a third-party site they have no ties to.
I’m also seeing a number of ways Pressgram can be used in churches and other non-profit organizations:
- Create shareable content that’s published on your website. We all want to create shareable content to drive traffic to our sites but typically we end up publishing it on someone else’s site or service — hoping it will generate enough curiosity to provide a click-back to our site. With Pressgram, the content is published on your site. So every time the content is shared, it’s a link directly back to your website — not someone elses.
- Visualize the weekly sermon. Setup accounts for staff members and allow them to expand your weekly messages by snapping photos and sharing short thoughts centered around the weekly message.
- Store an archive of all your photos on your servers. Pressgram works directly with your WordPress site(s) to share and publish your photos. Rather than posting to a third-party server and hoping you’ll be able to archive photos later, your photos are sent directly to your site for publication. Backup your site as you do normally and all your photos will be archived as well.
- Post once to numerous sites. Does your Associate Pastor of Children, Families, Technology and Room Reservations have blogs for various groups in your church? Perhaps your church has a blog for your youth group, your senior ministry and your church staff? With Pressgram you’ll have the ability to post to one site or all sites with ease. Whether they’re self-hosted or hosted on WordPress.com, there’s no need to create separate posts for sharing the same content across many sites.
- Share behind the scenes looks at your organization. Who turns on the heater for the baptismal? Who fills the communion cups? Who folds all the bulletins? Where does your pastor like to do his sermon prep? Who scrapes the ice from the walkway when it ices over? Highlight those who work hard behind the scenes or simply highlight those things that happen every week but don’t always get noticed by others.
- Get to know the community. Pressgram is centered around community and even in the alpha and beta testing, a great community is forming. Explore what others are sharing. Comment and like their photos and build relationships around the platform – and around the world.
- Create instant photo albums. Mission trips. Concerts. Vacation Bible School. Youth events. Share photos on the go — as things happen. Because Pressgram is built on WordPress you have loads of flexibility when it comes to customizing how your content is organized. (See a few examples here, here and here.) Keep the photos organized with a common tag or category and let your community know to look for the photos on your website — as they happen. Photos aren’t just single moments in time — they’re a part of a greater story. Share that story in it’s entirety — directly on your website.
- Highlight church volunteers. You can easily feature one volunteer each week and the have an instant photo directory of volunteers tied to a common WordPress category or tag. Display it in ways that work best for you.
- Show-off your community. Take photos and highlight interesting aspects of your community — both your internal faith community and the community outside the walls of your church.
- Grab readers’ attention with unique content and then pull them into your website with targeted content. Rather than driving traffic to a third party site, Pressgram is built with the focus on your content and your traffic. When sharing photos on various social networks, the links point back to your website and not another site. You decide how the photos are presented and what content surrounds the photos. If you’re highlighting church volunteers, why not include a link for more information on volunteering. Highlighting a behind the scenes look at your media team? Why not include information on where people can download your podcast. The possibilities are endless.
These are just some of the initial ideas I’ve come up with. How do you imagine using Pressgram in your local faith community?
If you’re ready to give it a go, visit Pressgr.am today to find out more and to be notified as soon as the app is available in the Apple App Store… and then start sharing your stories with your community.
BONUS: See John Saddington answer questions about Pressgram from Church Marketing Sucks.