The world of entrepreneurship is more often than not a double-edged sword.
On one hand, the world of launching a startup venture is fraught with challenges, causing roughly some 9 in every 10 entrepreneurial ventures to fail within their first year; on the other hand, a visionary entrepreneur who is able to address a consumer problem in an innovative way can go on to achieve global success and leave a lasting legacy from their innovation’s impact.
Nowadays, the term “entrepreneurship” can similarly be used as a general description for the multiple millions of digital content creators operating in today’s tech-driven world. Many of these creators are artists, photographers, and other creatives seeking to monetize their content across the plethora of social media and photo-sharing platforms they operate on, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and more.
However, the pitfalls to monetizing content off these platforms are multi-faceted, and often lie within the fine print of their user terms of service (ToS) agreements as well as AI-driven algorithms. For example, while Instagram allows photographers and content creators to post and share their images to the platform, users who agree to Instagram’s own ToS grant forfeit their rights to ownership over their uploaded content. In similar fashion, Instagram’s algorithm can cause a user’s uploaded images or content to be silently hidden from the feed of other users; even the creator’s own followers.
A Different Kind of Photo-Sharing Platform
These issues involving artists, photographers, and other creatives and their ability to better monetize their original content is why experienced entrepreneur and amateur photographer Tom Oswald founded ClickASnap in 2016.
According to Oswald, when creators upload their content to photo-sharing platforms like Instagram and others, it grants the platform. “a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content.” Instagram’s ToS – and those of other similar platforms – also grant the platform the right to sell users’ photos to third parties without having to pay users any royalties or profits from the sale.
Rather than simply create another new platform that would inevitably have to compete with Instagram and other leading social media platforms for market share, Oswald opted to found ClickASnap with one key difference; Oswald created ClickASnap with the mission to allow photographers, artists, and other content creators to not only retain the rights to ownership over their images and content, but would pay them based on a flat pay-per-view rate: the first method of its kind in the photography and digital photo-sharing industry.
As an amateur photographer himself, Oswald understood the draw of users wishing to monetize their original content through uploading it to platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. Taking that idea, and coupling it with an entrepreneurial drive to improve upon it, Oswald has built ClickASnap over the last 5 years into a digital photo-sharing website that caters to each user’s creativity, rather than the platform’s drive for higher profits.
Changing the Photo-Sharing Monetization Game
What sets ClickASnap apart from traditional photo-sharing social media platforms is its unique included features. Along with its pay-per-view monetization system for content creators, ClickASnap disables users’ ability to screenshot, save, or print images uploaded to its website. This way, no original content can be stolen or reshared without the creator’s permission. Similarly, any images or content uploaded to ClickASnap that is not owned directly by the user uploading it is removed from the site: a rule that Oswald affirms is strictly enforced. This is a very different ethos to sites like Facebook where users can pirate and use imagery at will with no worry about this content being removed at considerable expense to the original creator.
Oswald has also mentioned that, unlike other platforms which will sell creators’ work at a higher charge to third parties for royalties, ClickASnap does not – and has no plans to – operate in this way. Instead, his platform utilizes its own internal marketplace where artists, photographers, and other creators can sell their content as stand-alone images or prints, and even create digital “art galleries” to display, license, and sell their content without ClickASnap collecting royalties.
Perhaps the most innovative feature ClickASnap presents to users, however, is its distinct lack of data farming. While platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube routinely farm personal user data to use as a driving force behind their AI-driven algorithms, which control what content and types of content users see in their dashboard feed, ClickASnap never farms user data. Rather, Oswald’s website showcases content in a feed that is ordered purely chronologically. In this way, every post uploaded to ClickASnap is organically visible, granting users much greater control over the content (and types of content) they wish to see. Users of Clickasnap are in 100% control of what they see and when they see it, with no need to worry about constantly evolving, secret algorithms that restrict who sees what.
Placing People and Photography Over Profit
By now, you’re likely reading this and thinking, “that sounds great, but what’s the catch?” Well, to put it simply; there isn’t one.
In an effort to make ClickASnap not only more broadly accessible to users, but also affordable to photographers and other creatives seeking to utilize its benefits, all ClickASnap accounts can be created completely free, with no limits on the amount of uploads users can make.
Oswald has likewise created three subscription packages for content creators starting as low as £2/month for an account free of advertisements. This subscription can then be upgraded to £4/month or £6/month for a “Seller” or “Pro” account, respectively, which allows ClickASnap’s user base of content creators to gain unlimited cloud data storage, store credits for the platform’s website to better and more easily promote their work, add artist watermarks to the photos or images they upload to ClickASnap, and even display their original content on the website’s home page. Each view a certain photo or image gains then grants the creator a flat 0.60c payment.
As an added benefit to users, Oswald has also worked to integrate an automated marketing system (AMS) into ClickASnap’s digital platform. This integration grants creators the ability to post – or schedule posts – images originally uploaded to their ClickASnap account across their other social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. By including AMS in ClickASnap’s operational processes, creators can more easily share their original content to their followers, as well as potentially new followers, wherever they are, and at their own personal convenience to boost not only their engagement, but their pay-per-view revenue as well.
In these ways, Oswald and ClickASnap are not only drastically changing the photo-sharing industry and its monetization capabilities, but are returning the power of digital presence and profit to the photographers, artists, and other creatives.