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LIC Startup Wants Its Web App to Become New Visual Social Network

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 1, 2012 1:26pm

LONG ISLAND CITY — Think of it as a scrapbook, only in an online version.

Storybox, a new web application designed by a Long Island City-based start up, allows users to tell a story by using pictures that they can share with friends and then watch them reorder it any way they want.

The site is the brainchild of Angie Min, 42, who worked as an interior designer for 10 years. Many of her clients, she said, had come with photos of furniture and other objects they had cut out of magazines but didn’t know how to put them together as a single idea.

As a designer, she said she created presentations using magazine pictures and wanted others to have a tool to do the same.

She said Facebook and other visual sites, like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, are great for collecting photos, but not necessarily to assemble them into a complete idea.

Storybox users, she said, can use pictures from various sites, combining favorites into a single collage.

“This way they can tell a story,” Min said.  “We want it to be like a daily scrapbook page which would be both personal and aspirational."

Users, she said, can create a collage from a maximum of 16 pictures, though most people use only four or five images.

“Some people use it as a mean of creative expression,” said Wes Chow, 32, the website’s chief technical officer. “They will come up with a mood or a very precise topic like ‘nurture’ and they will create a story about it. For other people it’s a documenting device. They spent a great day at the beach and want to share it with friends.”

Currently, the site has about 1,000 users, said Chow.

Storybox, meant to be a visual social network, allows other users to remix the story right on the site, but external sharing is also possible so people “can post their collages to Facebook or Twitter,” Chow noted.

The project, which last year made it to the final round of Seedcamp New York — an initiative that provides startups with funds, mentorship and office space — recently picked up some big investors, including Rajan Anandan, who is the head of Google India, Chow said.