Pixrit is the latest in social media content managers specifically targeting photographers. With tag lines like, “Designed for photographers, by photographers,” and, “Schedule 1 month of sharing in less than 5 minutes,” they have set high expectations for a service that already has some strong competition.
Having an online presence for most businesses has become almost mandatory today. An entire workforce of people dedicated to managing these accounts has sprung up to meet this new demand. Let's face it: managing social media is a full-time job for a lot of people. Yet most small businesses struggle because we just don't have the extra time to really devote and leverage it. That's where managing software like Pixrit (pronounced, "picture-it") comes in (or at least where it attempts to relieve some of the difficulties associated with posting regularly).
A quick glance of its features shows a lot of what you would expect. It works with most of the big players in social media right now. You can post an image to all networks at once or on a per-network basis. You can create collections of images and divide them into categories. There is even a notification panel showing you all your platforms in one spot. Where it starts to be more beneficial to photographers is in just how it handles galleries and what can be done with them.
The GUI is quite well laid out and is clearly designed for a visually minded audience. It takes advantage of drag-and-drop functionality, making it easier to upload images, rearrange your schedule, and create captions etc.
The overview Dashboard displays a lot of information for you all at once. Here, you can see what is scheduled for today and tomorrow, create to-do notes, access your latest uploaded galleries, and see all your most recent notifications. There is also a panel full of well-made tutorial videos to help walk you through most the functions. This turns out to be very useful since the actual process of posting images from galleries is not a very intuitive approach.
I have used just about every managing software available in my consulting work, and after 20 minutes, I couldn't figure out how to just automate a post. So I broke down and watched several of the videos. Pixrit’s unique approach to managing image galleries and scheduling system, although not intuitive at first, really does make a lot of sense for photographers once you learn it.
All of this, of course, serves to try and create a faster and more efficient platform for the user to get as much done as possible in one sitting. For the most part, it works too. They offer super-fast bulk uploading, which is surprisingly fast. You can set the same caption and hashtags for each image on each platform. And you can even create presets for categories you post often. For instance, I post a lot of outdoor life photos to my Instagram feed. I use a lot of the same hashtags each time, and it has become a pain to manage, copy, and paste them on each new image. With Pixrit, I can create a "Hiking" category preset that already has my most used hashtags. So when I go to schedule an Instagram post, I select the preset and add whatever I want that is specific to that image.
The ability to create presets, though not unique to Pixrit, is probably the most useful feature for the average user. There are all kinds of tricks to make hashtagging easier, but sitting down one night and creating a dozen of your most posted categories in about 20 minutes is by far the best. I used Instagram as an example, but these presets can be used for all the available platforms and have specific parameters for each one. Even if you are an Instagram posting master, this system allows you to streamline that process to all your other accounts without having to do any new work.
The scheduling queue at first was a bit confusing, as I mentioned above. It's designed to allow you to drop any number of images into a folder. Place them in whatever order you like, then set the posting times for the week. With other software, you'd usually assign posting times for each individual image. Pixrit's new way really does make more sense. I picked out 20 images, set the queue to post at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Oh, and let's post one at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, too. Done! That's it! Once you have the software set up with all your images, presets, and preferences, you really can just post a week's worth of content in five minutes.
What really makes this for photographers are the added features built into the gallery system. Since you are uploading images to Pixrit’s servers, they built in options to allow users to host web galleries for clients. Right now, it seems there is only one default look with two ways to arrange images. However, it is very clean and user-friendly — much better designed than the galleries a lot of people use made by Lightroom. You can set the galleries to be public, private, or password-protected. Each gallery is its own mini website that has all your contact info and social media icons. There is a feature for each login to create a favorites list. It's a basic web gallery right now with no e-commerce or watermarking built in, but it sounds like much more is planned.
I don't shoot weddings, but I could see this being very useful for my friends who do. Creating an attractive client gallery and then taking that gallery and assigning the images to be pushed out to your social media accounts all within one program seems well thought-out.
Unfortunately, there is one major downside to Pixrit. Instagram doesn't currently allow 3rd-party posting and won't for the foreseeable future. For some, this will be a deal-breaker, but since no one else is offering this feature, it should have been expected. Of course, there are always services popping up that do this for you, and I advise never using any of them. It’s against Instagram's Terms of Service, and when that service gets shut down (and it will), you risk having all your content shadow-banned (or worse, your account closed). After putting so much work into an account, it just doesn't seem worth the risk.
Pixrit does have a decent yet disappointing workaround for this problem. When an image has been scheduled to be posted to Instagram, Pixrit sends you an email with the image, text, and hashtags you set up. You then just share the image to Instagram and copy/paste the text. For someone who really struggles with regular posting to Instagram or just always forgets to do it at the best time, this workaround is still pretty good. You can still plan a week's worth of posts all at once. Post from your phone anywhere you are, assuming you have service, and add tags, filters, location, or anything else you want. Of course, if you're like me and were hoping to have something that let you travel a lot and not have to think about posting, or just won't be able to post because you find yourself out of cell service quite a lot, this workaround probably just won't help you.
Pixrit is currently available with a 15-day trial that lets you test out all its features. If you want to continue with it after the trial, you’ll have to sign up to one of their three service plans.
What I liked
- Well-designed GUI
- Really fast uploads
- Lots of video tutorials built in
- Web client galleries
- Built-in notifications for all platforms
What I Didn't Like
- No Instagram 3rd-party posting (expected, though)
- Not intuitive at first
- High price point, no free tier
- No desktop or app version
Pixrit has definitely put a lot of thought into what a photographer wants or needs in a media manager. Adding in the ability to host galleries for clients was just brilliant. It's super fast in every aspect, flows well, and once you get used to how it works, can really speed up your posting. The GUI is sleek and well designed with room for all kinds of new features down the road.
The pricing might be a little high for the do-it-all photographers, but for a studio with small to moderate staff, it's probably just right. That leaves a lot of photographers on the floor that probably won't spend the money for the lowest Pro tier. I really think Pixrit could benefit from a basic free plan. Maybe get rid of the hosted galleries and reduce the storage amount to 25GB. A lot of photographers are only using two or three social media platforms, so maybe cap it at two. Whatever it looks like, I think there is a place for it.
Lastly, analytics. At the end of the day, any good media manager has to have the ability to tell you how all your posts are performing. If this feature was added in, I’d say the price point would be a lot closer to what you should expect to pay.