Ever since the birth of my son, a little over a year ago, I have never taken so many pictures. The hard part with this is that because I mainly use my iPhone to take pictures and I post these to Facebook, Instagram, etc, I have a hard time trying to gather all of them to show my parents when they want to see them. Not only that, but my folks are not into the whole social media thing, so being that they live thousands of miles away, it is some times hard for me to continually share with them all the pictures I have.
Lately, I have had the opportunity to play around with a web app called Slide.ly, which lets you take your pictures and put it into a slideshow and then show it to your friends and family. They make it pretty easy to gather pictures from just about any where, and then let you create your own slideshow. I know there are other apps that have similar features, but I wanted to take this one for a spin to see how it compared.
Creating Your First Slide
Slide.ly makes it really easy for you to get going right away by having you either connect your Facebook account or manually sign up for an account. All I had to do was fill in my name, email, and create a password to get started. The first thing you need to do to create something is to select which pictures you want to use.
Slide.ly makes this process very simple and easy by letting you connect to a variety of picture hosting sites. You can connect to Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Picasa, and even Google Images. What is nice about this is that not only can you use your pictures from these services, but you can also search the public photos that are on each site and select those as well. You are also given the option to upload photos from your computer to use in your slideshow. When you are selecting your pictures, you can use up to 90 images, which should be plenty for most people.
Next, no slideshow is complete without a little background music to spice it up. Again, Slide.ly does not disappoint by giving you a wide variety of music to choose from. You can search YouTube, SoundCloud, or you can also select from the genres that are provided for you. As always, you can also upload your own mp3 if you don’t like the selection you have to choose from.
Once you are done, Slide.ly now works its magic and creates your photo slideshow for you. You can preview it and make changes to it if you choose to. You can slow or speed up the slideshow and even choose from a variety of backgrounds to use. When you are done putting the final touches on it, you can now save it and share it with your family and friends.
No web app like this is complete without some kind of social aspect to it, and Slide.ly does a pretty good job of incorporating this into their site. First off, like I just mentioned you can share your slideshows with others through Facebook and Twitter, and they can even be embedded on a website or linked to as well. When people go to watch your slideshow, they will see lots of different social features they can choose to use. Shows can be “liked”, “tweeted”, “+1″, and even “pinned” to Pinterest. They can also be commented on and if you are connected with the app through Facebook, your comments can show up there as well.
The other part of their social interaction comes with having the ability to see and interact with others on the site. It kind of has a Pinterest feel to it when you are looking at other people’s pages. You can search for other slideshows that people are making and interact with them on their projects.
For the longest time, I would use something like iMovie to create projects like this, and as much as I like to use it, I always felt that there had to be an easier way to get a photo slideshow up and running. Slide.ly does exactly that, it provides a way for the average person to gather photos and make a very good looking slideshow that they can share with others. They don’t give you too many features to overwhelm you to the point you don’t want to use it. I loved that I could create a slideshow in under 5 minutes if I wanted to; it was really that easy. The social aspect of the app is also a welcome feature, which adds a layer of interaction, which I believe is natural for something like this.
As it stands right now Slide.ly is a solid slideshow creating app, which really doesn’t need many more features to make it better. With that being said, I would love to see a couple of things added in the future. It would be nice to be able to possibly add video to your slideshows and maybe some other paid features. As of right now, as far as I can tell Slide.ly is free to use and is not making money. I would love to be able to pay them for some added features so that they can keep the product sustainable for the long term.
I truly believe that Slide.ly is a great app that has a lot of potential. For one, they make it so that just about anyone can understand it and create a quality slideshow and two, it is web based, which means you can make these on any computer. If they can find a way to stay sustainable and gain more traction with users, I really see this taking off. I would highly suggest you go and try it out for yourself and see how easy it is to use.
Create quality looking photo slideshows and share them with others using Slide.ly.9