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Pushing forward the elevated idea of Instagram photographers as modern day artists, a startup called Instacanvas officially launches Tuesday to give IG photogs online galleries where they can display and sell their filtered square captures as art.
On Instacanvsas, amateur and professional photographers alike can sign in with an Instagram account and set up an online gallery. Here they can promote and sell their contemporary, digital photo art as printed canvases and earn 20 percent of sales.
Instagram enthusiasts can purchase prints in 12-inch, 16-inch, and 20-inch square canvases, starting at $39.99, and (in theory) hang something more culturally relevant than a generic print in their homes.
The young company also provides its Instagram artists with a social toolset designed to help with distribution and exposure.
The idea is not a wholly original one. A service called Hashpix offers Instagram photographers a similar way to profit from their mobile shots. The printed pieces of Instagram art even remind us of those offered by CanvasPop, which makes 12-inch and 20-inch square, wall-ready canvases out of Instagram shots. So, the market appears to be there, but it may already be saturated.
Or not. Instacanvas, which first debuted in private beta eight weeks ago, says it powers more than 25,000 artist galleries, is already seeing 1.1 million monthly unique visitors, and is doing “thousands of dollars a day” in revenue. Today, the service will also open up to the “tens of thousands” of galleries on the company’s wait-list.
“[Our] approach sets us far apart from other players in the space,” Instacanvas CEO Matt Munson told VentureBeat. “Because we’re building an incredibly active community and enabling our photographers to promote their own work, we’re enjoying rocketship, viral growth without spending a dime on advertising.”
Ironically, Instacanvas joins an array of revenue-making startups profiting from Instagram — a feat that the service inspiring these third-party marketplaces never managed to achieve prior to its $1 billion sale.
Instacanvas is a graduate of Los Angeles incubator MuckerLab. The company has four employees and has raised roughly $500,000 in seed funding.
VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools.
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