These days photos with text on them is the new medium of communication. Heading over to Reddit all you see are pictures with text. On Instagram it seems anyone younger than 20 is throwing all sorts of typography over filtered pictures. There’s obviously a need to put words on pictures.
There are a few apps out there that will put “meme” or arty text on photos, but Messageful creator Kai Hannonen points out that most on the art side are free-form and not built around design templates. “It started as an experiment in typography and doing something new with text on mobile. Six months ago it started shaping up into something,” he says.
What was missing was a way for people to communicate visually but without requiring much design skills, and by providing the right content for users to stay current.
On top of putting text templates on top of images, Messageful also allows for putting graphical images on images, create photo collages, putting photos in frames, and emoticons. It’s basically a one-stop app for doing the type of photo editing that’s popular with kids these days. Once the editing is done, it has built-in share options for Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, email, and SMS.
Looking at the tech behind it, Hannonen (once the CTO of the shut-down Sofanatics) points out that Messageful was built with Node.js and MongoDB on Nodejitsu and Amazon Web Services. The mobile app was built using web standards, AngularJS and AppGyver Steroids (and PhoneGap). The App currently uses Google Web Fonts for typography with support for other services like Fonts.com.
On the monetization side, the obvious way to get some cash out of the free app is to do premium templates and content. Additionally branded templates are another valid strategy. But in the meantime, Hannonen is stabilizing the platform and getting rid of bugs, porting the project to Android, and putting in some monetization features – but not necessarially in that order.