Sharing photos online has become an integral part of our lives, but what about our loved ones who don’t have a Facebook account, or Instagram? While sharing digital photos with the world is easier than ever before, each network is still limited to those who actually take part in it. If you’re not lazy, this is not a real problem: you just post your photos on several social networks, upload them to Dropbox, or email them directly when necessary.
Are you one of the lazy ones? Then you probably know how it feels when you go through the trouble to pick the best photos, only to get complaints from your Facebook-hating friends that they can’t see them. If you often post photos to Facebook or Instagram and want people who don’t own these accounts to see them too, there’s a solution for you. It’s called.
What Is PicDigest?
PicDigest is a neat little service that tries to solve this ever-present laziness problem. It takes your public Facebook photos and Instagram photos, and sends them as a daily digest to the recipients of your choosing. PicDigest’s emails are fit for even the most technically challenged of your family or friends. There are no links to click, no attachments, and no signing up. The photos just appear daily in their mailbox for them to enjoy.
PicDigest is free to try for 30 days, in which time you can see how it works and how your friends and family react to these daily emails. After 30 days, you’ll be asked to pay either $2/month or $20/year. If you’re constantly being nagged about your photos, this is not a high price to pay for a solution. It’s also better than sending your friends and family emails that contain ads.
OK, How Do I Get Started?
“Easy” is an understatement when it comes to PicDigest. Start by signing up using either Facebook or Instagram. Before you get all upset about having to sign up using a social account, remember that you’re going to have to link these accounts with PicDigest anyway in order for it to work, so no skin off your nose.
Don’t worry about which account to choose, you can link both accounts to PicDigest through the settings later. Once you’re signed up, all that’s left to do is choose your recipients. Add as many email addresses as you’d like, and all these people will receive a daily email with your photos. According to PicDigest’s FAQ, emails are generally sent between 2am and 6am in the morning, no time zone specified (I’m guessing UTC).
Through your profile, you can also link the additional account which you didn’t use to sign up with. You’ll find this option under “Photo sources”. From here you can also disconnect any of the accounts if you’d like.
What Will My Recipients Get?
Good question. If you look at PicDigest’s website, you’ll find this screenshot of a PicDigest email:
This is very pretty, and while it looks pretty different in Gmail on Windows 7, this is the general idea. Upon adding a recipient for the first time, they’ll receive an email telling them they’ve been added, and a recap of your recent photos.
While this recap is a nice idea, the execution is a bit weird at the moment. For me, the first email I sent out contained no less than 24 photos, with the oldest one added as long as 4 years ago. I admit that I don’t upload many photos to Facebook, but this is still slightly weird.
Also, all the photos were all from my Facebook account despite that fact that I have many more recent photos on Instagram. This probably happened because PicDigest first asks you to add recipients, and only then lets you add your additional account. It would have been smarter to let users first link both accounts, and only then send out this initial email.
Another issue is opting out of these emails. I would expect the initial email to include a prominent “I don’t want this” button, or something to that effect. Instead, the emails do include an unsubscribe option, but it’s tiny and hiding all the way at the bottom of the email, similar to any regular newsletter. Still, it’s a great option to have, and your recipients are able to unsubscribe from your emails whenever they wish.
PicDigest is a great idea, and a great solution for a funny yet common problem. Parents don’t have Instagram? Best friend not on Facebook? This is a very easy way to make sure they stay updated on your latest endeavors. While I would like to see more services added in the future, Facebook and Instagram are a great place to start, and $2/month is definitely not going to hurt your pocket.
Looking for more ways to share photos with friends and family? Check out these 4 ways to share photos & videos privately with your family.
Do you like the idea behind PicDigest, or do you think it’s redundant? How do you share photos with friends?
Image credit: Photo Stack via Shutterstock