FotoSwipe Demo

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Sylvain Dufour's plan to get his FotoSwipe app on thousands of mobile devices appears to be working. He told me this week that 200,000 people have downloaded the free app on their iPhone or Android devices and they hail from 175 countries.

The app, which allows photos to be swiped between devices, launched in beta in July and publicly in late October. When Dufour gave me a demo earlier this year, it seemed a lot like the now-defunct Bump app—I wrote an analysis of the two in July. Though Bump failed, he believed it would pave the way for consumers to understand FotoSwipe. He vowed not to spend even $1 on marketing or customer acquisition—instead, he'd rely on relationships with bloggers and tech experts built over 10 years developing popular mobile games and apps while living in Miami. This video explainer, his only marketing collateral outside the website, has more than 58,000 views:


Dufour told me this week that all traffic has come from blog posts, reviews, social media and word of mouth. Google Play and Apple users have rated the app 4.5 and the handful of reviews I read said it's "incredibly easy to share between Android and iOS devices", "makes photo-sharing cool," and it's "significantly easier to share with a group.Users have shared 1.25 million photos, a number that is growing 40 percent a month. 

Another fun fact, the U.S. ranks just sixth for FotoSwipe photo shares. Dufour says Brazil and Indonesia have generated the most traffic for the app.

Dufour has done it with three employees, despite raising $350,000 over the summer from mostly local investors. In the new year, he plans to hire a handful more, mostly developers, and to find larger space. The team works at HQ Raleigh.
 
In the meantime, a January update will let users swipe a full folder of photos (up from a maximum of 10 today) and if they're both sharing a wi-fi connection, it'll happen five times as fast. More technical improvements will be coming.

Revenue isn't a focus for this startup—Dufour's goals are to improve the technology, continue the fast month-over-month growth and build loyal users around the globe.