Picture-sharing is exploding as a major trend in mobile marketing. With the smartphone, people have a high-quality camera on them at all times. While users seem to have less free time, visually focused mobile-sharing applications like Pinterest, Snapguide, and Instagram, continue to experience explosive growth.Why, you ask? Because we, the users, still want the content, but we want it in a way that is fast and easy: pictures!

Visual content is a powerful asset within your app’s user engagement strategy. As cliché as it sounds, a picture is worth a thousand words. Snapguide is an application that lets you view and share do-it-yourself guides by uploading photos of each step of a process. Besides bringing an artistic quality to the traditional “how-to” guide, photos can help users convey and understand complex ideas without having to do a lot of work. Images are a fast and fun way for users to express themselves. By enabling users to share pictures, your mobile app will become a part of their self-expression. Here are some ideas of how camera functionality can enhance your mobile strategy:


Engage users with crowdsourcing contests allowing users to create content for you. By contributing content through pictures, users can help showcase the essence of your brand in an interesting and personal way. For example, showcase your home improvement product with a before-and-after photo gallery filled with user generated content. Contributors will become stronger brand advocates, while others can enjoy visual content created by their peers.


Gamify your mobile app with a photo-based scavenger hunt. Set up the hunt by creating a custom list of items for users to find. Players will use the camera in the app to provide evidence that each item was found. The more creative you make your list, the more interesting the visual content. Use the list to strategically direct users to specific locations, interact with your brand’s products or services, or even connect with your social media outlets.


A customer recently used the Smart Online platform to build an inews app featuring user generated visual content. While inside the app, users can take a picture and, along with the location and time, upload it to a list view. When skimming a list, the visual content focuses users’ attention and encourages community engagement with the option to comment on each photo. Even though users’ feel like they control the conversation, the administrator can continue to mediate by using the Smart Online platform to regulate what actually gets shown in the image streams.

As you can see, there is no end to where user generated visual content can take your mobile strategy. What are some unique ways you think you can integrate camera functionality into your mobile app?