Making his mark: Irish photographer's app tops the Apple charts
An iPhone app designed by an Irish photographer has topped the Apple store charts, less than a week after its launch.
Tired of having his images stolen and used without permission or credit, John McHugh developed the Marksta app to watermark photographs.The photo app allows users to add watermarks to their photos before sharing them on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users can copyright their images, add borders without distorting the size of the picture and put website addresses on them.
“I’ve been working on this app on and off for almost a year. There were other apps available that did a similar thing but not as well. They weren’t very intuitive and they were most likely designed by developers as opposed to photographers.
“The app was an act of desperation as nothing else worked. Facebook, Twitter etc stripped out metadata put into the photos and people were using them without attributing credit.”
The app also contains editing features to allow photographers and enthusiasts alike to create layers and templates.
“The app is not just targeted at photographers; it’s aimed at everyone. That’s why it took longer to develop – it needed to be very easy to use. You can see any changes in real time, which saves time.”
The app, which was launched in the Apple store last week, has since achieved more than 15,000 downloads. In less than a week it was in the Apple Store Top 50 in the Photo and Video Category, topping the charts in the Netherlands and reaching the number four spot in Ireland. The app was the 20th most popular app in the United States in the same category.
“The app was free of charge on the first day in order to get feedback from users. There were 5,500 downloads within 24 hours. We started charging €1.79 per download the following day and achieved a further 5,500 downloads that day.”
Mr McHugh, a news photojournalist and filmmaker who is currently covering Afghanistan for Al Jazeera, said the viral success of his app was beyond his expectations.
“I believed there was an appetite for this type of app out there, but I had no idea it would be so popular so quickly."