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Kickstarter campaign presents Bokeh, a platform for privately sharing images

A Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Bokeh, a new photo sharing platform that enables users to privately share images with friends and family. Bokeh is presented as an alternative to traditional social media services, offering users a focus on privacy and a lack of 'creepy ads,' according to Bokeh creator Tim Smith.

Bokeh is an ad-free image sharing service where accounts are set to private by default (the option exists to make them public), accounts are only searchable by username, and followers are hidden from public view. The platform includes features to help keep content private and users safe, such as an automatic prompt to block a user after their follow requests have been declined three times.

The Boken interface resembles Twitter profiles, at least based on the Kickstarter previews. Rather than selling user data and showing advertisements to fund the platform, Bokeh will charge users a fee to use the service. Individual accounts will cost $3/month with the option to pay $30 per year. Family accounts (up to five users) will be offered for $5/month or $50 per year.

Smith explains in his campaign:

I believe that your data shouldn't be mined to sell you targeted ads, that your timeline should be chronological and not based on some algorithm, that tech CEOs shouldn't allow hate groups to flourish on their platforms, and that we need more social networks that are privacy-focused and ethically sustained.

The Kickstarter funds would be earmarked to develop the service. As with any crowdfunding campaign, there are risks involved and a final product may never reach the market.


Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there's always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

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Oldest first
dr.noise
dr.noise

I share what I want with my relatives directly and privately through WhatsApp and Telegram and Skype and whatnot, what's the point, I absolutely don't get it.

1 week ago*
Osa25

How is this different from SmugMug and other services around for past 10-15 years?

1 week ago
Zograf

Sad, now if you search for lens bokeh comparison, google will direct you to this company.

2 weeks ago
cosinaphile

kickstarter is a scam .... and a platform for anyone with any motives to raise funds

no one should back any project without a written guarantee of a product or refund

and kickstarter is the biggest culprit in these frauds by not properly vetting or reviewing the viability of a project .... lucid dreaming headbands?? seriously ..... amazing tiny drone with unheard of capabilities and tracking feeding off the selfie craze ... political emails for sale???? backpacks that are WiFi hotpots ?

a modicum of common sense , and a true desire to stop fraud or over ambition in its tracks by kickstarter itself could stop 90% of this disgusting fraud in its tracks

2 weeks ago*
KenCA

Would people be interested in a photo sharing service where viewers had to pay (very small amounts) to see photos? Since viewers pay, there would be no need for ads and no data collection.

2 weeks ago
Special Circumstances
Special Circumstances

I can’t imagine anyone paying to see photos.

2 weeks ago
Death89
Death89

This is basically Apple's photo sharing without a restriction to Apple's devices. If that's worth $50 a year to someone it might be better to just buy a cheap iPad every few years. I could use an iPad mini 2 for this purpose easily. You can even use that without an apple device, but the windows program for iCloud has not been working brilliantly for photo sharing for some years now.
Apple's solution is even more 'private' because you can only be invited to private streams, though I've never tried setting up a public one.

1 week ago
pastukaste
pastukaste

Bokeh is an ad-free image sharing service where accounts are set to private by default that will also be a hackers playground

2 weeks ago
Eric Hensel
Eric Hensel

A name no one can pronounce...

2 weeks ago
nightstreet

I wonder if these guys even knows what it means. Hey, I am going to start a photo hosting service, Blur.com.

2 weeks ago
urix Lukin
urix Lukin

Out of curiosity I visited blur.com and wasn't disappointed.

2 weeks ago
nightstreet

You mean someone took that name already?

2 weeks ago
mxx
mxx

"The Boken interface resembles Twitter profiles,..."

Proofreader slip here.

2 weeks ago
TBLF

The only way I'd invest in that outfit is if Kaiman Wong was the pitch man for it. ;-)

2 weeks ago
cosinaphile

s`aul good ,man... is my pitchman of choice , "most starwipes in history"

2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago
sirhawkeye64

While not as robust for sharing, I could also just create a password-protected gallery / album on my portfolio as well. Not trying to be snarky here, but it's true. And it wouldn't cost me any more than what I'm already paying to host my portfolio. I can just share the link with family and friends and they can check back periodically. Yes it's not like FB where they'd get live updates when new photos are uploaded, but it's still an option that some people overlook.

And to be honest, any social network, either this one or FB, I would not trust. At least with my solution, I have control over things.

2 weeks ago*
(unknown member)

Well, I assume that most people would say "Hey, great idea. I was so done with all the fake friendships and likes anyways. I'll try it."

A couple weeks later, people will miss the likes and fake validation from strangers. So, in the end they will gladly accept all friendship requests they can get their hands on and pride themselves of how many real friendships they have. (Not everyone, of course. )

This sounds like facebook to me.

Also monetization? How? When?

2 weeks ago
nightstreet

Without fake friends, I don't have anyone to share my photos with...So I have to pay $3 a month to put photos somewhere that nobody can look at?

2 weeks ago
Rocky Mtn Old Boy
Rocky Mtn Old Boy

Maybe it's just me, but I would like to see Kickstarter only accept ideas that are well and truly unique. The neverending clown show of "me too but I don't want to put my own money into it" really gets tired. At first glance this just seems like a mashup of all the worst traits of the current social media.
Maybe I'm missing that One Thing they offer that we all have been waiting for.

2 weeks ago*
riveredger

As usual;, so much negativity in the comments. Smile, people!

2 weeks ago
kkoba

Hey, don't tell me what to do!

;)

2 weeks ago
3pgrey

This time it's justified

2 weeks ago
Bigsensorisbest

What a moronically inappropriate and confusing name for it. I had a friend with a pest control company which had a dolphin in the logo we argued endlessly whether it was good marketing or not.

2 weeks ago
nycgazelle

hahahhaahahahahahah

2 weeks ago
cosinaphile

if your pests are schools of herring , a dolphin is an excellent logo

1 week ago
Bigsensorisbest

Is was funny when we had separate businesses but when we joined up and he wouldn't drop it, it stopped being funny and turned into (another) source of friction...

1 week ago
dr.noise
dr.noise

@Bigsensorisbest One of my old clients had a loft renovation business and he wanted a logo that resembled some English football club.

1 week ago
Bigsensorisbest

Drnoise yes once they get in in their heads it's difficult to shift it..

1 week ago
Dr_Jon

You have to pay for these things somehow, nobody's business model includes giving you free stuff that costs them money unless they can monetise it some other way. Either pay or accept Ads and Data Mining, or just stay off the internet. That said this looks risky over the long term (many people not wanting to pay for anything on the internet) and you can always have Facebook Albums that are limited to family and selected friends.

Also the development budget for this seems super-low, plus that's before they set up all the servers they'll need as there's no mention of data size limits...

2 weeks ago*
Duncan M

A 'paid' subscription based social platform....
Nope I don't see that ever becoming fruitful.

2 weeks ago*
Clyde Thomas

Yes, please redefine the overused (and misunderstood) word to mean something else.

I'm going retro and digressing back to OOFA.

2 weeks ago
Death89
Death89

Up with OOFA!

1 week ago
DeathArrow

After they will have some success, I hope they will sell the platform to Getty so they can license your photos to anyone who pays. :D

2 weeks ago
marc petzold
marc petzold

I would not share pictures over a network, especially some kind of this. Why would someone ever do this? there's eMail, S/FTP, etc. And paying for a monthy "subscription" plan..this is so DoA, for real.

Kickstarter these days brings out the biggest mess...

2 weeks ago
trebledee

Lost me at Kickstarter.

2 weeks ago
kristian2000
kristian2000

They should call it 'Exchange O Gram' .

2 weeks ago
Christian Unger

And here I thought Kickstarter is only for things like expensive hipster camera bags and wooden tripods. Now they even have great software.
I don't understand how this is possible without crypto though.

2 weeks ago
skanter
skanter

How original! Sharing photos online! I’m in! :-)

2 weeks ago
3pgrey

I'll buy that for a dollar

2 weeks ago
sh10453
sh10453

I'll pledge some big money if they promise to sell the company (after they are up and running) for BIG money to Facebook, the ultimate privacy place. lol

2 weeks ago
katastrofa

After so many Kickstarter fraud scandals, describing another "project" on this venue as if it was just another ordinary business is beginning to smell iffy from an ethical point of view. Adding an italicised disclaimer at the very bottom is IMHO not enough. Should a respectable photography website promote a business (Kickstarter) which enables so much fraud?

2 weeks ago*
AndroC

I agree. I often wonder if there is a commercial relationship of gain between the owners of DPR and Kickstarter. I have no idea, but given that Kickstarter is a cesspit of fraud and deception, one wonders why DPR - small disclaimer and all - persists in advertising these things.

2 weeks ago
mxx
mxx

I have to disagree. DPR is advertising nothing in this case. They're just informing us. The information is ours to use or disregard. The disclaimer at the end should not even be necessary, but then some of us have to be nannied all the way.

2 weeks ago
katastrofa

"The cheapest heroin in town is to be bought near the downtown Wal-Mart."

I'm not advertising anything. Just providing information.

2 weeks ago
mxx
mxx

If I go there and find nothing, you'll be in big trouble!

2 weeks ago
AndroC

Amazon.com now has a Kickstarter shop subcategory, for selling Kickstarter products. Since A owns DPR, there is some sort of commercial connection there. I wonder if this accounts for the stream of Kickstarter advertisements on DPR. I have no evidence for this, but it is iffy, as the OP said.

2 weeks ago
katastrofa

I don't know anything about DPReview's motives. I commented about the articles themselves.

Media outlet owners often give them a large degree of editorial independence, to avoid damaging the brand and keep the good journalists happy with working for them.

2 weeks ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

What‘s wrong with SmugMug?

2 weeks ago
User9362470513

Or Flickr. Seriously there are already private ad free options out there.

2 weeks ago
sirhawkeye64

Most online portfolio hosting sites (as mentioned, Smugmug, but also Zenfolio, SquareSpace, etc) all have privacy controls. Perhaps the only feature you MIGHT be missing is updates when new content is posted, but I'm sure that's something that they could add quickly. The reason I'm not buying into this Bokeh thing partially has to do with it just being another expense. I already pay for my photo processing software and portfolio subscriptions. I don't need another one. I can accomplish similar results (although without the notification of updates for subscribers feature) with my portfolio.

2 weeks ago
Leandros S

Do you know that feeling when you've been away for a while and something important has happened that you've completely missed? Like email going away? God, I hate that. I used to like that stuff so much. You could send files and everything - encrypted, even! With messages of any length. God, I love analog technology.

2 weeks ago
Josh683

Hope it works out for them! It might just be the next step in tech / social evolution.

2 weeks ago*
2 weeks ago*
RED i

So you put up the money so they can develop it. They then get members so they can inflate the value of the service and the sell it for profit.

2 weeks ago
AshleyMC

Bad name. Not interested.

2 weeks ago
3pgrey

But it's the name you're paying for! Who doesn't want to spend a cup of coffee on that name...

2 weeks ago
P10004K
P10004K

" By backing this project now, you’ll get a discount and allow me to pay for the initial development.
$4,406
pledged of $11,000 goal
77
backers
27days to go
All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, June 5 2019 3:04 AM EDT."

Wow, what a joke !

2 weeks ago
User9362470513

I'd he obliged to return the money if he doesn't reach the target? If not, seems like fraud to me.

2 weeks ago
Dr_Jon

He doesn't get the money from Kickstarter if the goal isn't reached.

2 weeks ago
WillWeaverRVA

"Kickstarter campaign presents Bokeh..."

And that's pretty much when I stopped reading.

2 weeks ago
ovatab

"Kickstarter" - should have stopped there

2 weeks ago
Horshack

Looks like a pure marketing play to me - a photo sharing service like any other but with the default sharing set to private instead of public.

2 weeks ago
3pgrey

Pass. Nothing but a money grab

2 weeks ago
evogt500

No Thanks. There are so many other apps that can share pics. The photo sharing app market is already somewhat oversaturated. While this company claims it focuses on privacy, how long will that last?

2 weeks ago
Special Circumstances
Special Circumstances

I’m sure there’s a variety of existing solutions but why not use something like Flickr which allows you varying levels of access to your photos. Eg public, friends, family or private?

2 weeks ago
Mr Bolton

Does Flikr have ads and data mining? (sincere question, I really don't know) and if not, do you just pay for it every month? Because I'd be into that.

2 weeks ago
Special Circumstances
Special Circumstances

Paid accounts don’t have ads and I don’t think yahoo data mined and iirc since smugmug bought Flickr they released a privacy statement reiterating that. I’ve had a legacy paid account for a long time and don’t begrudge the costs when factoring in the granular viewing controls, unlimited storage and other privacy controls such as who can view/download the full size original photos, hide exif data and you can even set up geofences for areas where you want to hide gps locations. As I said I’ve currently got a legacy price which I pay annually but it may be worth your while to set up a free account and have a look at the privacy settings of the account

2 weeks ago
Mr Bolton

That's good info, thanks!

2 weeks ago
Jason

Sounds cool. I've been hoping for something like this, but its utility relies on your social circle using it. Why subscribe if nobody you know uses it? So I'm not interested in backing it. If/when it's up and running, I'll happily sign up for a trial account to check it out, see if anybody I know is on etc. Until then, I'll keep an eye on it. Honestly, though, I don't have much hope for it. I can't see convincing my 80 year-old parents (for example) to pay for Bokeh, even though they're active on Instagram.

To those saying, "just use Facebook/Google Photos!" you completely missed the point and/or didn't read the post. With Facebook and Google, you are the product. With Bokeh, the service is the product. Maybe try to understand the difference before bashing Bokeh.

To those saying, "Just use iCloud!" good point, but iCloud isn't very Android friendly. I have a few people I'd like to share with who don't use iOS. It would be cool to have a private, cross-platform sharing solution.

2 weeks ago
P10004K
P10004K

Facebook and Google are my two favorite free services and they don't have my credit card info like many brain dead companies that don't know how to secure the info from hackers.

2 weeks ago
3pgrey

Skype much? There's plenty of options and this one stinks pretty bad. One guy jerking off suddenly wishes all those Instagram adds are annoying, has no background or money to capitalise on big data, thinks damn I should make Instagram add free and get rich quick. Offer something anyone else can't besides a terrible name and I'll take another look

2 weeks ago
gameshoes3003
gameshoes3003

I agree with you, Jason. The big hurdle is getting people in your circle to use it and, furthermore, pay for it. Bokeh is going to have to do something more that makes its fee worthwhile.

2 weeks ago
HRC2016

Ok, so how long until the company sells consumer data? Read the TOS carefully and be mindful the company can change the TOS at will.
Consumer data is too tempting not to sell.

The fact that it's Kickstarter makes me more suspicious.

And the stupid name that has nothing to do with what they are selling.

Three strikes. I'm out

2 weeks ago
badi

"Consumer data is too tempting not to sell"

well, consumer data is worth something when you have consumers. Nobody will be interested in some 1-2k users data. If, eventually, they'll be able to have a consistent user database, they'll just sell the business to some bigger names, cash in some $$$ and wash their hands.

2 weeks ago
wats0n

Ugh this feature is already baked into every mobile device is called Google Photos and iCloud Photos...

2 weeks ago
Mr Bolton

Uhh... except the privacy with those services is ZERO. You are the product.

And my Android can't share my daughter's iCloud photos. I don't know if it will work the other way but knowing Apple, I kinda doubt it.

I could see getting my family, esp. the older and less tech savvy ones who aren't into Facebook at all-and believe me there are *millions of people out there who detest/don't trust Facebook* to kick down three bucks a month to see my photos, and I could see theirs, with no ads.

2 weeks ago
filmluvr
filmluvr

It's reprehensible when a company steals a word that's in common use and trademarks it for their purpose within the same industry.

2 weeks ago
Horshack

Actually it's not clear they'll be able to trademark the name bokeh since it has some relationship to the product/service they're selling. Normally generic words can only be trademarked if the trademarked use is unmistakable from the word's original meaning.

2 weeks ago
Leandros S

I'm pretty sure Apple would have tried to trademark it, given it featured in their ads. But genericised trademarks are not defendable. Google ended up hating the very property for which they picked the name - that it could be verbified.

2 weeks ago
burkek
burkek

Not innovative - many other solutions for privately sharing photos. Dumb name.

2 weeks ago
pixelMario

I don't understand.... Why not just make a group chat with the people you wanna share stuff with?

2 weeks ago
ZeBebito
ZeBebito

I already have a couple of methods to share images privately, one is called email and the other one Whatsapp.

2 weeks ago
mermaidkiller

Whatsapp is not private, it is owned by the most privacy infringing company of the world. It is 'free' which means you are the product.
But email is, as long it is not Gmail, paid (your email hosting provider) and there is lots of competition of email providers.

2 weeks ago
ZeBebito
ZeBebito

Well, I actually use Gmail. And no, I won't pay ANOTHER subscription (With Adobe I have enough) to send images privately.

2 weeks ago
F-ONE

Nice concept, horrible name. Reminds me of a fitness bike company naming their company and product Peloton.

2 weeks ago
scokill
scokill

Group of cyclist for company that allows for a virtual group of cyclist is a horrible name? It's genius. But agree Bokeh which is the out of focus rendering of the background of a photo is a horrible name for this service.

2 weeks ago
F-ONE

They make treadmills now. Peloton Pack, LTD?

2 weeks ago
lilBuddha

I like the idea, but don't see it growing. People are well documented to preferring to risk the hidden cost and complain later, over paying money up front.

2 weeks ago