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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

The New Slideshow: Flipagram and Stayfilm Review

Credit: Flipagram

Credit: Flipagram

We live in a photo-documented world.  Our phones are pretty universally equipped with cameras of always-improving quality (a recent advertisement for a Nokia Lumia Windows phone focused entirely on the features of the camera) and Apple claimed back in April of this year that the iPhone was the world’s most popular camera.  Massive amounts of us have Facebook accounts and Instagram accounts where we share our photos with our friends and the world.  We take pictures of everything, from the mundane elements of daily life to our dinners to ourselves, so much so that the word “selfie” has now officially made it into the canon of English language.  Our camera eyes are very open.

But…what do we do with the pictures?  Sure, we can print them and frame them, make fun magnets out of them, and have those shared albums on Facebook but there’s more that can be done with those photos.  That’s where video photo book making apps come into play.  Like the slideshows that I remember my friends’ parents showing after their vacations when I was a kid, video photo books allow the user to put their related images together in short, themed videos that can include text and song.  It’s a fun, novel way to share those photos that we have filling our social media streams and they appear to be on the cusp of being the next big thing in the app world.  Today I am going to compare two photo video services that have been gaining some early popularity in the digital world.

First up is Stayfilm. Stayfilm is a Portuguese app and service that lets you connect to your various social media sites, pull from the pictures, and make short videos using your images.  It gives you a number of thematic categories to choose from and then sets up your video using music and transitions of the theme’s choosing.  The result is a short video slideshow that you can share to other social media as well as have on the Stayfilm community.  It’s presently available only for Android and computer users, though the website has promised that an iPhone version is coming in the near-future.  Stayfilm is generally fairly easy to use, but it does have its issues.  First, the site, while mostly in English, does still have touches of Portuguese.  In my very first time using the site I hit upon two error messages that were both in Portuguese.  The account creation site is also in Portuguese which is a bit of a deterrent.  If you can get past the Portuguese (I was able to do so by running unfamiliar words through Google Translate) it’s very basic to create your video, so basic that users are limited to what they can do.  At least on the website version you don’t get to choose the photos you include in your videos outside of choosing which social media services you want to include.  You also don’t get to choose your music or other elements of the slideshow.  You are presented a fixed group of choices.  That’s it.  If you find that palatable, you simply click the create button and go from there.  However, that part of the process is also fraught with issues.  I was able to successfully only able to create one video on the service.  Every other attempt I made timed out or failed.  That leads me to another major issue with the Stayfilm service: I can’t share with you the video I made on the site for this article because the Stayfilm site is down.  This is not completely unusual for the service.  It comes up briefly, only to crash again and this has been my experience using the site over the past month since I started work on this article.  Stayfilm is an interesting concept, especially with the idea of a video-creating community that the site seems to want to explore as it grows, but it’s hampered by bugs and crashing websites as well as a lack of choice and creativity for the users.

In contrast is Flipagram. Flipagram is an American app and service available for both iOS and Android.  It is a free app, which is nice, though it doesn’t have a computer interface (I’m one of those people who enjoys creating from my laptop.)  The app is easy to use, though, as it lets you go through your photo library and select the images you want to use, then allows you to customize your fonts, your music, and once you get it loaded into Instagram you can even add video filters.  You can also export your video to Facebook and YouTube if you choose, which lets you share it across multiple platforms with one click.  I’ve been playing with the app for a few days now and it hasn’t crashed once and making the videos has been quick, simple, and fun.  The biggest drawback that I could come up with is that there isn’t really a Flipagram community to share with.  In theory that’s what Instagram is for, which does work, but the app also doesn’t appear to have any lofty hopes of being more than a photo-sharing service at this point, unlike Stayfilm which (when the website worked) had aspirations of bigger.  I created a short little video to share here just to show how a finished Flipagram looks.  I did add an Instagram video filter to the final product (the filter I used was Maven, fitting  for my “makeup” theme.)

Ultimately if I have to choose a photo video service it is going to be Flipagram simply because Flipagram works.  Stayfilm has some great ideas, but sadly the execution is lacking.  I may even start making several of these little short videos simply because of the ease of use Flipagram has.  It’s kind of fun to be able to make my own little music videos.

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3 Comments on “The New Slideshow: Flipagram and Stayfilm Review”

  1. Gilberto February 8, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Hey Nicole, have you tried Stayfilm lately?

    • Nicole Drum February 12, 2014 at 12:55 am #

      Yes, I have. I am still experiencing the same issues with the site.

  2. Rick December 2, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    have another go at it. I think they fixed most of the bugs. Also they have a Windows Phone and iOS versions too. Seems to work fine!

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