Since laying off half its staff this August, Hipstamatic have revamped their website; released a major update to the popular app with special attention to iPhone 5 and iOS 6 functionality; updated Swankolab (one of its three app offerings, which also includes Incredibooth); and continued to push out Snap, a monthly iPad magazine featuring Hipstamatic photography. They’ve also rolled out both a W Magazine and a Rock the Vote FreePak, adding to the numerous collections of Hipstamatic add-ons featuring various digital lenses, film and camera cases, as well as a new Multiple Exposure Kit that lets users take double, triple and quadruple exposures with the app.
“We’re still a very healthy company and still a profitable company,” said Molli Sullivan, Director of Communications for Hipstamatic, though the company is tight-lipped about stats to back that up. About the only figure they will share is that Hipstamatic has 4 million monthly active users.
Big future initiatives are also still on the table, Sullivan confirmed, including that Hipstamatic Foundation for Photojournalism, initially reported by the British Journal of Photography.
“That is definitely moving full force ahead,” she said.
A new lens created in partnership with photojournalist Ben Lowy, known as one of the first to use Hipstamatic in his reporting, is also moving ahead. You can even watch Lowy’s experiments with the developing technology on his Instagram feed. Early results are exceptionally sharp.
“It is an indication of what’s coming, it’s not likely the final version,” Sullivan explained, adding that Lowy is continuing to provide feedback on the versions of the digital lens he tests.
The makers of Hipstamatic still aren’t moving ahead with an Android version, however, and for the time being, the app remains limited to iPhone users.
Today’s core Synthetic staff includes cofounders Lucas Buick and Ryan Dorhorst, who serve as CEO and president, respectively. Doug Lambert as chief operating officer, Aravind Kaimal as creative director, Mario Estrada as VP of Special Projects and Sullivan round out the crew of six.
“We’ve never been super big,” Sullivan said, referring to the media attention that surrounded the August layoffs and seemed to imply the demise of the company.
Hipstamatic released an update to the app, called 260 version, just last week, featuring display optimization for the iPhone 5 and new Prints and Stacks view, with portrait and landscape view, for compatible devices updated to iOS 6 update. The update also includes new black and white camera cases and improvements to the flash function.
"[The new update] says we're committed to putting creativity and art at the forefront of everything we do, and that we're dedicated to building products that excite our community," Buick said.
The newest issue of Snap was also released last week (and can be downloaded in the iTunes Store for free). Sullivan calls Snap, “a lifestyle and culture magazine for the iPad.”
“It’s everything that we love and care about as a company,” she said, listing off fashion, music and food amongst those pillars.
The majority of the images in the magazine were shot using Hipstamatic, with contributors using the platform as an opportunity to share their work.
“It’s pretty inspiring for us that we have a community that is so committed,” Sullivan said.
Snap also offers tips and tricks for using Hipstamatic, from what film to choose to creative ideas like shooting through a water bottle to achieve an interesting look.
“At the end of the day, all we want to do is inspire people to take more pictures,” Sullivan said.