The Zooomr photo-sharing site plans major changes, including the ability to let members sell their photos, but the upgrade process has been rocky.
Photo-sharing sites have added features such as tagging, commentary, ranking and printing. But adding the ability to sell photos injects a little profit motive in the business as well. It also puts the site in more direct competition with stock-photo sales sites such as Getty Images subsidiary iStockphoto.
Zooomr will keep 10 percent of revenue from photo sales, the company said on its blog, letting users keep 90 percent. For comparison, iStockphoto keeps 80 percent, unless users sign an exclusivity agreement under which the company keeps 60 percent. Getty also acquired journalism-oriented Scoopt this month, a site that splits revenue 50-50.
Zooomr went offline Tuesday for the overhaul to the Mark III version of the site. Users couldn't upload new images, though blog photos hosted on the site were still available. The upgrade was scheduled to be complete Thursday, but on Sunday, Zooomr rolled back to the earlier interface while debugging the new one.
"To keep everyone happy and continually uploading images, we've opted to put Zooomr Release Two back up temporarily for a few days while we get all of these Mark III bugs worked out of our system," site programmer Kristopher Tate said in a blog posting Sunday.
New search abilities also hampered the upgrade. The new version will let users search for images based on their colors, but even with five servers working flat-out, processing images for the search preparations took longer than expected, Tate said.
Zooomr today specializes in photo sharing augmented with support for multiple languages and geotagging, which maps the locations where photos were taken. The new Zooomr version also lifts file-size and quantity limits, the company said on its blog. And it will be endowed with a programming interface, allowing more sophisticated or automated interactions with the site.