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Idealog—in the ideas business

Snapr fosters friendly competition, piques brand interest with photo-sharing game

SnaprKiwi-conceived free photo sharing and geo-tagging app Snapr has carved out  a bit of name for itself after having some cash thrown its way by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, being endorsed by Microsoft and used to show off the glamour shots during New Zealand Fashion Week.

Now it's captured the attention of some major Kiwi brands with a new photo sharing game called Capture the Flag. Will it catch on with consumers?

If you’ve seen how Foursquare works, you’ll know social media can be pretty nerdy, with points awarded for the most check-ins and virtual ‘mayoralties’ dished out. There are also elements of oneupmanship and showoffiness in the Twitter/Facebook popularity contest. A similar philosophy applies here, with users joining tribes and working together to ‘capture the flag’ at popular places by taking photos and checking them in.

According to Snapr co-founder Edward Talbot, who set up the business in 2009 with Rowan Wernham and splits his time between New York and Auckland, the group-based gameplay in Capture the Flag keeps things moving and makes it easier for people to be part of winning and holding a venue.

"Mobile photo sharing has really exploded in the last year and we hope our twist on it will appeal to a lot of people. People tend to take photos at their favorite spots so it’s fun to bring in the game aspect and show which groups of people are most prominent in different places," he said.

“Mobile internet and smart phones make a whole new kind of gaming possible. Play happens in the real world and can be another layer to your everyday life,”

The app, which is available for iPhone, Android, and other modern web-capable phones, makes it easy to share snaps to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare, and users get extra points if friends ‘like’ photos or write comments. It also features a map of the most hotly contested spots and a global leader board.

“There are lots of little ways for good photographers to ‘win’. For example, the most popular photo at each venue becomes its main image,” Talbot said.

Many of the tribes, such as The Kiwis and The Wallabies, are based on countries playing in the World Cup, so it’s hoped some of that competitive team spirit will feed into the game, while others like The ‘wawas are more about lifestyle. Much like the Heineken RWC App, it aims to help travellers/tribespeople see where others from the homeland are going, and find connections with those who visit similar places (for travellers who want to play but are worried about data use there is a ‘Wi-Fi Only’ mode that queues uploads and adds them to the game automatically when connections are available).

The venue data comes from Foursquare and, like many other location-based social media platforms, the app also offers deals and bonuses from featured venues, which include some of New Zealand’s most social media savvy brands.

42 Below created the Carnival tribe (which is linked to its Carnival 42 pop-up in Britomart) to help find the best nightlife spots; Burger Fuel is offering deals to users of the app nationwide via its tribe Hambo; V has created the robot Mecha tribe; and Moa Beer has brought its signature bird back from extinction. Jucy Rentals is also supporting a tribe and will help tourists get their hands on SIM cards provided by 2degrees (sponsors of The Kiwis) that come loaded with mobile data.

“A couple of smart-nerdy dudes came to see us about their geeky mobile photo sharing game and we thought the only way to make it fun was to apply beer to the equation,” said Sunil Unka, Moa Beer marketing manager. ”Smart phone game + Moa = fun. Simple.”

As well as these specific sponsors, Tourism New Zealand is sponsoring six tribes and recommending 100 must-see destinations across the nation. Kiwis have the opportunity to win prizes with a photo popularity contest and take the best photos at one of more than 100 featured destinations across the country using Capture the Flag.

On the Pure New Zealand Facebook page, a custom app built by Gladeye that only those overseas can see and enter is offering three $5,000 trips to New Zealand and 200 prizes are part of an international campaign. It is also planning to leverage some of the material for its marketing, a la the ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ crowd-sourcing campaign, so there’s obviously some fairly heavyweight business backing of the idea.

Find out how to download the free apps and view an online demo here (demo is for Chrome and Safari browsers only).

This story originally appeared on StopPress.


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