1000memories integrates with Facebook to fill Timeline with old photos

Screenshot of ShoeBox uploads in Timeline (click to enlarge)

Within the next few weeks, every Facebook profile will be converted to the new Timeline user interface, which shows each user’s life over an expandable Timeline that dates all the way back to his or her birth. That’s exciting and all, but it also means that a lot of profiles out there will suddenly have big, vacant gaps with no content between the time a user was born and when they joined Facebook. Don’t panic, people: A San Francisco startup called 1000memories is here to help.
ShoeBox, an iPhone app made by 1000memories that helps you quickly scan and share your old printed photos, has debuted a new integration with Facebook Timeline. The updated app now lets you scan physical photos directly into your Facebook Timeline. Also, now all photos that have already been added to 1000memories by existing app users can now push selected photos to their Facebook Timelines.

Photo scanning made easy

Now of course, people have been scanning old photos and adding them to Facebook for a while now. But the ShoeBox app makes the process super easy. The app automatically detects where a photo’s edges are and crops it accordingly; users then add details such as dates, names and locations onto the photo, and automatically tag Facebook friends before sharing it to Timeline. The whole thing makes so much sense that Mark Zuckerberg himself reached out to the 1000memories team when the ShoeBox app debuted in October, 1000memories co-founder Rudy Adler told me in an interview this week:

“On the day we launched ShoeBox, we got an email from Mark Zuckerberg saying that he really liked it and wanted people to use it to fill their back stories on Timeline. The whole thing was serendipitous. We were probably halfway through building the app when Facebook first announced Timeline at the f8 conference, and we automatically thought it’d be a great integration then. Anyone who activates Timeline has this big gap between their birthdate and when they joined Facebook.”

ShoeBox uploads in Facebook Timeline (click to enlarge)

1000memories launched out of the summer 2010 class of Y Combinator with a primary focus on being a website where people could remember friends and family members who had died. But in 2011, after landing $2.5 million in funding from Greylock Ventures, the company expanded its focus to helping everyone organize and archive their photographs and memories online.

Keeping a standalone service

Even with the new Timeline integration, 1000memories still expects to grow as a standalone service apart from Facebook, since not every old photo is appropriate for social sharing. “Everyone has these really cherished photos sitting in their closets. They’re things you would save in a fire, but we want to breathe new life into them,” Adler said. “A lot of our current users use 1000memories as a place to put all those photos, and you don’t really want to share everything on Facebook.”
1000memories is a free service at the moment; down the line, the company could start charging for premium features and services, Adler said. In the meantime, 1000memories is working to improve its existing offerings, and a ShoeBox for Android app should make its debut in the next couple of months. To make people feel more safe about using 1000memories as a place to back up their treasured photos, all public content on the site is preserved through a partnership 1000memories has with the Internet Archive.
In all, I think the new version of ShoeBox seems like a very complementary fit with Facebook’s current push of Timeline to all users. It’ll be fun to see how people take to the app in the weeks and months ahead.