On an early Friday morning, I receive a call from Dominik Scheffel, the inventor of the app cinnac to discuss the features of the app and how it would benefit photographers like myself. For those of you who aren't familiar with this app, it's an app for photographers, that allows them to upload a set of images for users to review and rate them by either swiping left to downvote or right to upvote. This handy tool makes it easier for photographers to see which images would perform better on other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook before submitting them to those social media platforms.
Just over two years ago, Scheffel came up with the idea to create cinnac and asked one of his friends to help him with the programming side of it. They proceeded to work together every Thursday. Over a short period, a few other programmers joined, but as it was only a hobby at the time, most of them dropped out.
After only six weeks of development, Scheffel had to face some tough choices. He thought the app was dead in the water and decided to pursue other ventures until one of his friends contacted him and suggested they create a smaller team of four programmers. Soon they realized the amount of development required for this app was a full-time job and decided to take it more seriously and founded the company for development of the app to continue. Once they had the ball rolling, cinnac started gaining a small user base. After Fstoppers published an article about the app a while back, it has gathered an even more significant amount of followers.
Today the app is beautifully refined and easy to use and has grown to over 6,000 users in a small amount of time.
Once you load up the app on your phone, you're met with a beautiful splash screen and cinnac logo where you can decide if you log in with e-mail, phone number, or Facebook before it loads the home screen. Once loaded, you've got the option to select "Hot," "Social," "New," and "Top" image sets. To get started, the user clicks on an image on the home screen and gets transported to another screen where two images get shown.
The user has to choose which image he or she prefers by comparing the two and making a decision whether to swipe left or right on a particular photograph. Once this is done, two new images will appear, and the process will repeat itself until the user has rated all the photographs in the set. All sets have accompanying hashtags, making it easier to find on the platform.
Below each set, you're also able to see how each image performs with the highest ranking image showing up first with the number of likes and views it's gathered and the time it was posted. This rating system gives the photographer a good indication of which images work and which images don't. This "Tinder" styled-interface helps the viewer access the images quickly and decide which images are better suited than others.
Once you are done viewing other photographer's sets, you can upload your own set comprising of 20 images and see how they perform.
What I Liked
Considering the app is relatively new on the market, the developers have managed to iron out any bugs to create a somewhat enjoyable experience for the end-user. The menu is fast and responsive and during my time testing the app, I haven't had it crash once or appear sluggish. The interface is easy to understand, making it possible to load your sets within a few minutes of setting up your profile.
Once you start viewing other user profiles, you suddenly find yourself sucked into a rabbit hole and hours will pass while you view and rate other people's work. It's a great way to get some inspiration for your own photography as well as learn from other photographers.
What Can Be Improved?
While this is a convenient app to quickly see which of your photos work well with an audience, it still needs a way of letting users interact better with each other. If I have one of my images downvoted, I would like to know why users are giving it low ratings. However, Scheffel assures me this feature is under development and users should look forward to a big update shortly.
While this app works great on a mobile platform, I would love to see a desktop version in the future. Just like uploading images to Instagram, it can get quite tedious having to send it to your phone or cloud storage first to upload the images.
I'm hoping to see a lot more professional photographers use this app as a dedicated platform to discuss techniques and give critique on each other's work, as this is something I find lacking in the majority of social media platforms these days; cinnac has the potential to rival apps such as Instagram. And I'm glad there's a bit of competition stirring the waters.