Antonis Tsagaris


Why my app is amazing and should be on everyone’s phone

Taken by a Looxie user. Our users are amazing

Pitching my app, Medium-style

OK guys, seriously — listen: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

My app, Looxie, has the potential to change the world.

Does this sound too conceited and unrealistic to you? Too bad, because I’m right.

OK, I haven’t stopped reading yet. What does this Booxie thing do?

Looxie. It’s called Looxie. C’mon, man.

Looxie is a photo request app. The main use scenario is you go on a map, tap the area that you’d like a photo from and, supposing that other Looxie users are around that area, they can send you a photo.

Taken by an amazing Looxie user, again. Switzerland.

ROFL and LOL at the same time! Looks like Instagram and Snapchat haven’t been discovered yet under that rock you presumably live at.

Fuck those guys. Who cares? Do you really want to see the ten thousandth photo of your second cousin’s brunch? Your high school sort-of-friend’s toddler for the millionth time? Inspirational quotes over sunsets? Your gradma with bunny ears (ew)? Filtered photos of a filtered life, with moments that have been cherry-picked to make it look perfect?

No, thanks.

First of all, none of those apps allows you to do what Looxie does. The request functionality simply does not exist.

Secondly, Looxie does not allow you to upload photos from your gallery. This may sound like a totally arbitrary restriction but there’s a reason you cannot do that: the user has to take the photo using their camera, which means that any photo you receive through the app was taken moments earlier, which in turn means that what you’re seeing is what is actually happening at that location right now.

Yes, there may be a schzillion pictures of the Eiffel Tower in Instagram but how many were taken (and customized) at your request by a fellow user you don’t even know? That’s right: none.

And that’s another thing that’s special about Looxie: you don’t need to form a special connection (like ask to be added as a friend or accept a friend request) with someone to use the app: instead, any user on the map is a valid your-personal-sort-of-reporter, ready to accept your photo request and reply to it.

More Looxie user awesomeness! This time from the UK!

But what about my privacy? I took a look at the Play Store listing and the app is free and ad-free. Doesn’t that mean that I’m the product?

Well… yes. Yes, you are. Or at least, you will be, since we still haven’t monetized any part of the app.

But listen. The only thing we collect is an email address for registration purposes and your location, so that you’ll be able to accept other people’s requests at the location you’re at. Nothing else.

In fact, you can use Looxie without a username as setting a username is totally optional. You’re represented by a dot on a map and if you’re not comfortable with that you can even choose to hide yourself from the map. You’ll still be receiving requests sent at your location but no one will be able to see the location of anonymous ol’ you.

The plan for monetization is pretty novel, too: instead of relying on your age, gender, movie and music preferences, ethnic background, religion (or lack of it), hobbies, atmospheric conditions, favorite food, job, location, sweat acidity levels and the color of your shit, we’ll be showing you stylish, relevant ads based on the locations you’ve sent requests to.

If you think about it it makes a lot of sense: if you’ve sent a request to Santorini asking for a photo of that magnificent sunset, it makes sense that maybe you’d like to go there. So why not receive an ad for a hotel or restaurant at Santorini?

If you’ve sent a request for a photo from Patagonia, why not get an ad for air tickets to the middle of nowhere? These ads will still be relevant to you and your lifestyle, without us trying to monetize the fact that you just had a kid. Or a stroke. Or whatever.

Taken by a (you guessed it) Looxie user in Canada

Oh, OK, so you’ll respect my privacy. Thanks but I still don’t get why I should install another social networking app on my phone.

Looxie is not a social networking app, so shut your filthy mouth. At its most fundamental level, Looxie is a one-on-one photo request/photo taking app between strangers that share a mutual love for travel, landscapes and photography in general.

You’re only able to ‘like’ a photo you’ve received but that’s done in a completely anonymous way (ie. you don’t know who received and liked the photo and they don’t know who sent it).

You can also comment on the last three photos taken by our users around the world but that’s the extent of interaction you can have with other users of the app.

Looxie is all about getting real, real-time photos of exotic and not-so-exotic faraway and nearby lands. The editing you can do is limited (only three rudimentary filters are available) so that any photo you receive (or send) won’t be touched up to look like a fake-ass soft-porn frame.

Taken at Monaco by a freaking awesome Looxie user!

No offense, but your app sounds like the Norman Bates of buzzkills. Will I also have to solved advanced algebraic equations to use it? What do you think it’s good for?

Thanks for your question. Here are some cases in which Looxie can come in handy

  • You’re stuck in the office. The only thing you’re feeling is a disconcerning, synaesthetically green mixture of intellectual numbness and the smell of Dave’s armpits. But hey, maybe a photo of right now from the Caribbean will inspire you! Unfortunately, Looxie won’t be able to do shit about Dave’s smelly armpits.
  • You’re trying to organize a night out but you’re afraid that your favorite place is packed. Or even worse, deserted. Unfortunately, you’ll have to actually go there to find out. Or will you?
  • Is that beach as magnificent as everyone keeps saying? Send a request and see for yourself. The best part? Since almost no editing can be performed in Looxie, WYSIWYG, baby! A piss puddle looks like a piss puddle, not like Lake Como.
  • and many more!

Of course, Looxie is not perfect. Here’s a list of some of the things you won’t be able to do using Looxie:

  • Spy on your crush
  • Crash on a spy
  • Pretend that your life is a perfect, uninterrupted timeline of glamour shots and beach parties
  • Sell ‘health teas’ and/or bust your former friends’ balls/ovaries with the newest MLM scheme you got involved in.
  • and many more!
You get the drill. Awesome Looxie user, somewhere in the world. Gorgeous!

OK, fine. Can I post dick pics?


But hey — to lessen the blow of our ‘no dick pics’ policy, you’ll be able to send photos of people, landmarks and natural formations that look like dicks! Neato, right?

So what you’re saying is that Looxie is like Facebook or Instagram with the privacy concerns, excessive advertising, following and being followed, narcissism and self-promotion removed? So, nothing like those two?

YES! Thank you.

Whenever I mention Looxie to people they scoff and go ‘who needs another photo-sharing app when we already have so-and-so’? But it’s a completely invalid comparison.

Looxie is a tool that allows you to see the world around you in real-time by taking advantage of that fact that almost every one of us is carrying a camera around in our pockets.

There are many reasons you may want to do that: a sense of escapism, curiosity about what’s happening in the Mongolian steppe while you’re in the toilet (some people, right?), information that’ll help you plan your next trip or night out more effectively and maybe even research.

Cyprus via Looxie.

OK, let me be crass and just blurt it out: what’s in it for me?

If you’re a regular user, you’ll be helping to form a worldwide community of photographers/reporters. This benefits you as well as others because with an increased number of users, the app becomes truly useful to everyone and my vision of a more visually connected world comes closer to becoming a reality.

If you’re the owner of a small business, imagine this: you’re sitting at your cafe/restaurant/bar/bookstore/whatever. Suddenly, a photo request arrives near your location. Take a photo of your place, complete with a name, description and location of your business and entice potential customers.

If you’re a VC reading this, I really need a couple of million from that big lump of cash you’ve got lying around. I work full time as an oral surgeon, so I can’t work on Looxie as much as I want. Also, someone will need to pay those Firebase bills once Looxie inevitably goes huge.

Sold! Where can I download your app?

For now, Looxie is available for Android devices in the Play Store. Give it a try and stick around — I truly believe that this is the start of something special.

iOS users, do not despair. Hopefully some form of funding will happen and I’ll be able to hire someone to do an iOS version.

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