Japanese family photo service Kiddy now providing New Year’s cards



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Compath.me, the startup behind the mobile family photo service Kiddy, recently announced it has started accepting orders to print and deliver New Year’s cards from their users.

Kiddy is designed to help families share photos securely (see our previous review of the app) and since its launch back in December, the startup has acquired 35,000 households from Japan and the rest of the world. Together those users have uploaded over 1.4 million family photos, and that’s without any aggressive promotional efforts from Compath.me.

According to the company’s CEO, Hiromichi Ando, there are few secure ways to share photos with other family members, such as grandparents who might live far away. Facebook or Twitter might show them to an unintended audience, and services like DropBox and Flickr may be too complicated for some grandparents. Of course, sharing pictures over e-mail is troublesome.

With that in mind, Kiddy works as a photo-sharing cloud for families rather than a social network platform. It allows users to order printed pictures which can then be delivered in a physical form like postcards or photobooks. In other words, you can easily deliver pictures of your kids to grandparents who might be unfamiliar with most digital tools.

Taking their service one step further, Kiddy now allows you to create and order a New Year’s card. In addition to the many designs available to choose from, they also provide Pensta style templates, a set of stickers especially popular among young women.

Nohana, a subsidiary of Japanese social giant Mixi, which offers its own photo printing service, also recently launched a New Year’s card print and delivery service.

While many social interactions are adapting to digital, seasons greetings using your own mobile photos is the niche where analog media can still offer some value.

Update: Kiddy was chosen today as a finalist for the startup competition at LeWeb 2013, a tech event happening in Paris this December.