NY Startup: Emotish Lets You Share Pictures With Emotion INTERVIEW

Emotish is a new mobile app startup in New York City. They’ve taken a twist of the standard photo sharing app and added an element to it that makes this app special. The element is emotion.

With Emotish you take photos of yourself or you and your friends and you can tag it with what you’re feeling at the time and then share it via Facebook and Twitter. ¬†Users will soon be able to keep tabs on the photos and tags and see what feelings are trending, how everyone was feeling in a given area, favorite photos and contextual tags.

Emotions bring a whole new life into photo sharing. Instagram is great with it’s filters and likes but with Emotish not only will you see photos and a smile but you’ll have a better context of what the smiles about, or even what the long face or frown is about.

What makes Emotish even cooler is this isn’t just about great coders or a cool mobile app development startup. Emotish Co-Founder Ryan Wegner is actually a PhD candidate in the clinical psychology program at Columbia University. So like Smurks in Chicago, there is actual real psychology behind this app and what emotion brings to the table in people’s every day lives, in context and in photos.

We got a chance to talk to Wenger in between saving the world and developing great apps, check out the interview below:

What is Emotish?

Emotish is the intersection at which photo-sharing, brands, and consumers meet. The typical user action is pretty simple: snap a self-portrait and tag the feeling. Additionally, though, we are currently in the process of building out a separate section of the app where brands can launch promotional campaigns. In this way, users will be able to show what they feel, get creative around how they portray the feeling visually, and ultimately, win exciting prizes by entering their photos into brand-sponsored, in-app contests.

At the moment, we are in public beta, and our feature set includes posting photos, tagging feelings, sharing to social networks, and “liking” photos. We are pushing out a big update in mid-July, however, that more accurately reflects the future direction of Emotish.

Emotish,New York startup,New York startups,NY startup,startup,startups,ios,ios app,photo sharing,interviewWho are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Ryan Wegner- Graduated from Columbia University in 2007. I’m about 4 years through a Ph.D program in Clinical Psychology at Columbia. I have studied consumer behavior and marketing a great deal during both my undergraduate and graduate experiences. I have taken time away from my Ph.D program while working at Redrawn Labs. I also co-founded a non-profit corporation in 2007.

Dan Bretl- Graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2007 where he studied computer science, mathematics, and visual art. He has self-published several iPhone and iPad apps. He has also run a freelance photography business for six years while living in New York, France, Australia, and Bangladesh.

Matt Hooper- Graduated from NYU in 2010. Created the web series “GoCause” which generated over $500,000 for participating non-profit organizations and was featured prominently in the 2010 American Express “Members Project” campaign. He is also a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post and has worked in the political arena. Matt founded the company at which we all met last year.

Where are you based?

New York City. Our office is in Tribeca.

What problem does Emotish solve?

Our goal with Emotish is to disrupt the mobile advertising space by erasing the divide between the user experience and the advertising experience. We aim to take advantage of the enormous market opportunity in mobile ads right now by providing a platform through which brands can not only feature their products prominently and beautifully but also facilitate new and existing customer participation around their name within Emotish.

How did you come up with the idea?

Dan was the one who hatched the idea for Emotish, and it was actually something that had been rattling around in his head for almost a year. As our team built it out, I came to see how we could turn it into a business.

What’s your secret sauce?

Great UI/UX and design. I’ve been a bit evasive in detailing exactly how we are going to incorporate brands into the app on purpose because we’re still diligently working on building this platform, which will be launched within the next few weeks. We’re also in talks with a few brands and don’t want to sell the farm just yet on what this all will look like! Ultimately, though, this idea will be what distinguishes us from other photo-sharing apps.

What’s one challenge you overcame in the startup process?

A big pivot. The previous company at which we all worked with a different team was developing an events recommendation app, which never ended up seeing the light of day for various reasons. We decided to move forward with Emotish in late January of this year and had a minimum viable product ready by mid-April! I’m very proud of how quickly we were able to regroup with our current team and put a product out on the market.

What’s next for Emotish?

The next big step for us is completing this in-app platform for brands. We’ll also be looking to release our next set of user features (following, hashtags, newsfeed, etc.) by the end of July.


Find out more about Emotish here

Get it here

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