Photo-blogging site Exposure has added something new to its product today: Categories.
Exposure, a site where photographers (pro or otherwise) can upload and showcase their photos, has launched its first discovery-related feature. “Categories” are exactly what they sound like: 22 themed categories so users can browse to see other’s work — as well as stick labels on their own photos.
“Exposure thus far has been a great tool for telling great stories, but there wasn’t much for discovery,” Exposure product guy Derek Powazek said to VentureBeat in a phone interview.
The company surveyed its users to find out what features they’d like to see, and users overwhelmingly asked, “How do we find more stories?” (“Stories” are what Exposure calls the photo narratives on its site.)
So Exposure set out to create categories and, during the past week or so, invited its current paying members (Exposure is a freemium service) to categorize their own photos into its first 22 categories. Powazek added that due to the company’s huge focus on user feedback, he absolutely expects to add more categories as users begin to classify their work.
When we checked in with Exposure back in February, the company had just launched a new editor and was finally turning its attention to discovery-related features — it doesn’t even have a search function or other way to index photos yet.
A couple of weeks ago, digital-pinboard company Pinterest announced three new muscles to its search and discovery capabilities — Guided Search, Custom Categories, and improved Related Pins, as we previously reported.
Although Exposure and Pinterest are quite different products, they both enable people to put images they love in an easily accessible location online. Finding other items on their respective sites is hugely important, and as a community for artists, Exposure also wants its discovery features to help photographers’ work become more visible to others.
“In general, what we’re looking for is to empower more photographers and help them gain exposure,” said Powazek.
Since Exposure is mostly a paid product — users can upload three stories at no charge before they have to subscribe to a plan between $5 and $9 per month — it is giving extra functionality to its paid users. Free users can put their each of their stories in one category, and paid users can pick up to three.
Categories is also the first major project new Exposure team member Derek Powazek helped build. Powazek previously launched JPG Magazine, an indie online publication focused on photography and illustrations, and joined Exposure’s team after he “basically threw ideas at them until they hired [him],” as he explained.
Exposure is a product made by design and software outfit Elepath and is headed by Kyle Bragger.