NowThen is expected to run advertising shortly, although its creators are keen to see how the service is received before selling ads against the format. They have not ruled out introducing a premium service with additional features.
Users can sign up to NowThen via its website, Nowthen.com, or by sending a mobile phone text message to 07983 111222. Once registered, users are able to share images stored in their mobile phone with fellow NowThen users.
Each photo can be sent to a limitless number of people for the price of a standard photo text message. As well as arriving in each recipient’s mobile phone, photos will appear on the sender’s NowThen online homepage.
Users can then share, update and view their pictures plus friends’ images on the site, with the ability to select whether photos are public or private. Members can personalise their homepage, while moderators at the company, together with image analysis technology, will ensure inappropriate images are not seen by the public.
In addition, a NowThen application is being created for Facebook that will allow NowThen images to be viewed via the social networking site. Users will be able to leave comments on photos through Facebook.
Co-founder Laye believes the concept will catch on, predominantly through word of mouth, because the majority of the public already own the technology required.
“You don’t need a fancy phone, you just need to be able to take photos – it works with an iPhone or a really old model,” she said.
“We have 2,000 registered users at the moment and are doing a push here in the UK because Britons send three times more text messages than Americans.”