A few weeks back I tried out Picture Rally, a photo app from Japan with the interesting twist that invites you to complete themed photo challenges (or rallies) along with the rest of its community. In return you you receive and collect badges once you finish a rally, sort of like FourSquare, in a way.
Today the company is announcing a campaign ostensibly aimed at stimulating user participation, and is providing some prizes its members. Users can enter any three rallies to enter (they can either enter one or all three) in order to become eligible for a draw for a Macbook Air. The themes are 'Something Green,' 'Favorite Foods,' and 'Hometown Pride.' There will also be iTunes gift cards of 1000 yen value (which converts to about $13 right now) given out to 100 winners as well.
The contest will run until June 25, and for Picture Rally, who is a relative newcomer in the photo app space, it’s a good way to drum up some interest. When I last spoke to the folks from The Windward, Inc., they noted that the app might later be monetized by creating rallies around products. I admit, I had not thought of the possibility of offering prizes for rallies, but assuming that users take the bait, it might be a small price to pay to get early user participation. You can read more details about the contest here.
As for the app, I’m told that there are some incremental improvements coming soon. If you’d like to try it for yourself, you can grab it from the app store here.
It’s interesting to see all these new photo apps stepping forth with various strategies. There’s certainly no shortage emerging from Asia, perhaps most notably NHN Japan’s Line Camera which had more than five million downloads in its first month.