How Japan’s food photo sharing app SnapDish appeals to users and will hit their million downloads milestone soon

With desirable UI elements, SnapDish, a Japan-based food photo sharing app, is an app that impressed me with its thorough and elaborate design. In fact, some of the elements were things I had always wanted to integrate if I were to create my own app. Here’s why this app belongs in my personal favourites list.

Discovery made simpler

SnapDish made a smart move by allowing users to discover food by the various verticals: time of the meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), type of dish (appetizer, main dish, side dish), category of dish ( soup, meat, seafood, noodles), cuisine and even during special occasions/celebration (Chinese new year, Christmas). Not only does this make discovery more robust, and help users to discover food more easily, it allows SnapDish to collect more data (Data is King!) from its users because users spend more time navigating the app.

Hook: Giving users a reason to come back

Using LinkedIn to exemplify this, the main reason users re-login to this networking site is to search for job and connect with other professionals. However, there are also other motivations. People want to be noticed. The hook thereby comes from knowing “Who Viewed You”. SnapDish integrates this by keeping track and displaying the number of users who viewed your photo and the number of ‘Yummy!’ or ‘likes’ you get. This way, users would always be motivated or tempted to launch the app repeatedly to keep track with the figures. This psychological hook is something which Path leverages as well.

User profile interactions and social layers

On top of that, SnapDish also reveals all the users which ‘liked’ a particular dish. This opens up another social layer where users can interact with one another based on similar tastes. Under the user profile, you can also see all the comments which a particular user made. User’s social media profile such as Facebook or Twitter are also displayed in the SnapDish app, and you can also choose to share the photos of the dish you like, whether its yours or another users which you may or may not be following to your twitter and facebook profiles.

In my personal opinion, in terms of aesthetic, social layers, user interface as well as user experience, SnapDish is an app worthy of praise. It’s been a while since an app had actually made me this opinionated. Earlier last week, Hidetaka Fukushima, Internation Business Development of SnapDish, informed us that their app is now available on Google Play. Prior to it’s launch on Google Play, SnapDish for Android was only available to users on au(KDDI) in Japan.

Not only has this release made SnapDish available for Android users on docomo and Softbank in Japan, but also for Android users worldwide where Google Play is available. We also heard that Vuzz, the company behind SnapDish plans to make the app available on other app markets around the world, so more people who love to cook will have a chance to use the app. Definitely hoping to see the team hit their one-million downloads milestone soon. If you are keen to find out more about SnapDish, we did an interview with them two weeks ago.

SnapDish will be exhibiting at Echelon 2012 Startup Marketplace. The team pitched their product at the Japan Satellite in April.

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Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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