Pixable turns photo viewing into a daily addiction

Pixable, a photo viewing aggregation service, has won praise for the smart way it organizes photos and orders them by relevancy for users. Now, we’re seeing that users are catching on in a big way and have turned the iOS (s aapl) mobile app into a daily addiction.
The New York City company told me it recently eclipsed the 1 million download mark on iOS, with almost of all of the downloads happening in the last few months of last year. But while noteworthy, that’s something that a lot of apps are able to pull off. What’s really interesting to me is how sticky Pixable has become for users, who are engaging continuously at a pretty impressive rate.
Pixable says that its users are viewing 100 million photos a month and opening the app on average 11 times per month. Some 60 percent of those users are still active on the app since it launched in April while 60 percent of users also use the app on consecutive days.
The Pixable app primarily aggregates Facebook and Twitter pictures, with fuller support for Facebook right now. It organizes photos into various categories such as top of the day, week or month, new profile pics, most recent photos. Pixable also aggregates Instagram, Flickr (s yhoo), yFrog, Twitpic photos and YouTube (s goog) and Vimeo videos within a user’s Twitter feeds.
Where Pixable shines is in how it uses machine learning and algorithms to process more than 70 signals, helping it to surface the most relevant pictures for users. It will try to measure the affinity between users and the strength of their relationships, taking into account things like common schools, or cities and how much they interact. It will also look at “likes” and comments to determine if it’s a picture that a user wouldn’t want to miss.
Inaki Berenguer, Pixable’s CEO and Co-Founder, said photos have changed from being a way for people to hold on to memories into a form of communication. It’s almost like email now, he said, with Pixable setting itself up as a smart mobile inbox for photos.
“Photos are about telling friends what you’re up to you or you see something funny or eat something and you take a picture. People are broadcasting all the time, but there’s too much noise. Pixable organizes all these photos and brings order to them and sense to chaos,” Berenguer told me.
Pixable, which raised $3.6 million in November, said it’s also introducing hashtags into the service, so users can tag photos to organize them for later viewing or they can use them like hashtags on Twitter, adding a layer of metadata to a picture. It has also added a mobile web version of the service.
In my earlier profile on Pixable, I wrote how I liked Pixable’s approach, helping people see the photos that matter to them. As we live more of our lives online and through social networks, we need ways to prioritize all this content and filter out a lot of the noise. Pixable still has more to do to more fully integrate pictures beyond Facebook and Twitter, but I like its initial start and so do its users.