PictoBrowser is an indispensable freeware web application written by New York interactive designers Diego Bauducco and Carlos Gomez. It allows users to browse and display images from Flickr on any web page in a stylish, crisp flash-based interface. The plug-in enhances the functionality of Web 2.0 media sites like Flickr by providing a simple means to display photo sets on their own blog or homepage. To get started just click on the "Info" button on the bottom right corner of any Pictobrowser. (Sample images: bjarne*)
Diego was nice enough to share a little bit about the context and the creation of PictoBrowser when asked, we've included his response below.
Carlos and I started working with the Flickr API for an art piece called Teleabsence. I wrote a little program that would display pictures (taken and uploaded by Carlos via his camera phone) on a computer screen located at a museum. Once we had his piece working and I had some code written, we realized that there was quite a lot of potential to use the Flickr API and allow people to display their own photos via a flash widget (that Carlos named PictoBrowser). So I coded and designed the widget in such way that it could self-replicate, meaning: using the widget itself to generate a brand new widget with original content in it.
We told only one person about this widget (she was running this blog: www.fabrica.it/blog) the rest is history. We've seen the numbers of requests and users duplicate every month since October last year, when we only had a few thousand users. About 80% of our users are bloggers, the rest is divided between online portfolios and MySpace people.
It's a new adoption model/metaphor that emulates a biological viral model. People get infected by other people, not by us (ever). The interesting aspect about PictoBrowser's success is that has:
-No branding (No visible logo on the interface or "click here" message)
-No intention to drive traffic to our own site
-No advertising nor marketing campaign
So people do understand the honesty factor of our tool. They share it and embrace it.
The best part of it is getting messages from users telling us how much they appreciate our effort. It's given us much more satisfaction than any other commercial project we've worked on. It's also given us some good exposure and freelance work.
The future will bring new updates of PictoBrowser and a super cool new web application that relates to PictoBrowser (but I can't say a word about it yet ;).