Doing what I do for a living and working towards a Masters Degree in Social Media, I am often asked “What’s your favorite app or social platform?” The typical ones roll off the tongue but in the top three or four, you’ll find Storehouse. I’m always a little stunned when people say, “Store-what?”
Storehouse is the most awesome social app you apparently aren’t using.
When you combine talent that comes from Facebook, Apple and The Daily, you are bound to come up with something not only beautiful but user-friendly. Storehouse doesn’t disappoint. It’s the brain child of co- founders Mark Kawano and Tim Donnelly. They began their start-up in 2013 but didn’t launch the app (only on iOS devices) until January 2014.
I’m not a coder, a designer or a professional photographer so I can’t dive deep into any technical flaws or brilliance but I am a storyteller. With Snapchat, Instagram, Buzzfeed and the increasing presence of video and photos on Facebook, we are moving towards more visual communication at the speed of light. As a journalist, this pulls me to Storehouse.
Co-founder Mark Kawano told TechCrunch “We’re not targeting just photographers; we want to teach everyone that they can tell stories…We want Storehouse to be the really easy way to share and create stories. From photographers…to everyone, this is the shift in visual communication.”
As with all social platforms these days, Storehouse starts with a profile.
While I am a lover of Storehouse, I admit I tend to be more voyeur than participator and creator. It’s such a beautiful experience that I sometimes wonder if what I have to share is worthy. My contributions to date number three: Kelly’s Storehouse: @kfg5Horizons
The process really is quite simple. You import photos and videos. You position them. You choose a title. That’s where the must-dos end. You can choose to add text, captions or just let the pictures speak for themselves. Layouts vary but the best part is that you have options. You can clearly see Kawano’s inside knowledge of Apple as you manipulate your stories. For the end user, the layout options and beauty of the app are flawless.
In Storehouse, you follow and can be followed but note that all you do is public. You don’t have to be following someone to see all their work and anyone can follow you. You can search for people or use the almighty hashtag. Yes, Storehouse wisely aggregates topics using hashtags. Unlike Instagram, Storehouse is built for sharing. You can republish.
There aren’t many Community Rules in Storehouse outside the obvious copyright ones which makes it a space ripe for creativity.
If you need a little hand-holding, Storehouse has created communities to address what it calls “your moods.” It’s a collection of interests you can follow to publish and republish stories from like-minded souls. Take a look:
Storehouse is not without its critics and the fact that it is not available on Android devices will hamper the start up from maximum reach. That said, I would expect nothing less from the mind of a former Apple designer.
A couple other highlights worth noting. When you publish, you immediately receive an email to the account you set up your profile with. In it is a web-responsive link to your story ready to be shared to all.
The world of Storehouse isn’t just comprised of parenthood, travels and selfies (but you can find that too). It has a little bit of everything and for those who question whether journalism can move with the times, check out this offering from the landmark gay marriage ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Others have taken to Storehouse to share their most intimate moments but in a way that can’t be captured on Facebook or Instagram or even Tumblr. One could argue that albums allow similar aggregation but they don’t allow the user to tell a story. This is where Storehouse breaks from the pack. Take a look at One Last Year with My Father. It’s visual communication at a profound level.
While Storehouse is web-responsive, I strongly encourage you to visit it on your phone or iPad. It was created for those devices and doesn’t disappoint. In fact, given the mass exodus to all-things mobile, it’s quite brilliant Kawano and Donnelly were so mobile focused. It makes sense given the world we live in. Have phone, have camera, will travel, will tell stories.
Author Note (August 2021): Storehouse shuttered in 2016. All employees migrated to Square. I removed all links. It’s a shame. It was beauty while it lasted.