SnapVillage Exits Beta With Tech Upgrade, Outage

Posted on 6/9/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

SnapVillage is officially out of beta. In preparing for the full commercial launch, the Corbis-owned microstock, which now has some 300,000 images available for sale, has upgraded its image-handling and back-end technologies. The company is also running a 25% discount on its subscription service for the month of June.

In addition to a face-lift, SnapVillage has addressed the speed, stability and security of the user interface and back-end functions. The company also improved navigation and preview quality, as well as added new pages on licensing and team members. In addition, the SnapVillage Web site has moved to a new data center and new servers.

The company had planned to complete the move in one weekend. However, after shutting down late on Friday, May 30, SnapVillage did not come back online until the following Tuesday.

Such delays are not uncommon in an industry so reliant on technology. Last year saw a number of mistakes with rather significant financial and goodwill implications. The launch of Getty Images' latest Web site was delayed by nearly a year, and the company also experienced a footage-delivery glitch that reportedly cost millions in revenues. Microstock businesses are arguably at an even higher risk of technical difficulties, as they process larger volumes of images and transactions. Last summer, Fotolia's upgrade resulted in a four-day outage, with some contributor-oriented services offline for over a week, to the chagrin of outspoken microstock photographers.

Still, it is surprising that SnapVillage had not managed a smoother transition. The young microstock is among the best financed and most experienced with running a large-scale stock-licensing operation. Corbis was also the last among industry leaders to diversify into micro-payment, giving it ample time to plan and strategize.

It is equally surprising that bulk image-upload, repeatedly requested by contributors, has yet to be implemented, though SnapVillage executives promise that this upgrade is just the beginning. "The team is already working on more improvements and feature enhancements, including bulk upload... it's a top priority now that we're happy with the customer experience side," reads the SnapVillage blog. This is where the Corbis venture excels: Its communications, particularly in crisis, are impeccable.

As soon as the outage became a reality, it was announced on the SnapVillage blog, which continued to be updated with new information. In addition, the highest-ranking executive on the project, Adam Brotman, took the time to personally apologize to contributors: "We are disappointed that this has taken so long. We know that this type of outage isn't acceptable, and I can promise you that this is a one-time event only... We will be getting in touch with our recent and current customers to explain that this is a one-time event and are committed to great customer service - always and around the clock," Brotman wrote.

The SnapVillage outage, though noticed, has not been as heavily criticized as Fotolia's. Microstock photographers still expect great things from the Corbis-backed newcomer, which has also won some attention from pro photographers, due to its pick-your-own price model.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff