What's Ahead for 2020

2020 what's ahead

If you haven’t seen our recap of the over 1,000 product improvements made to SmugMug in 2019, head on over to our 2019 Year in Review. While last year was very busy, we can’t wait to get onto a number of exciting improvements for you this year. 

Thanks to all of you that have written in with feature requests, pain points, and questions, participated in research studies with us, joined our “Viewfinders” customer feedback groups, and chatted in discussions on our forum, Digital Grin. The feedback you provide helps us get a sense of what’s important for us to improve for you in 2020 and beyond.

A focus on growth.

In December, our Chief Geek and CEO Don MacAskill reached out to discuss how we need help to make sure Flickr continues to serve the millions of folks who love posting and viewing photos. SmugMug.com was one of the first services to employ a subscription model and while we’ve maintained stability with this model for more than 16 years, we need to grow SmugMug so that we can invest in more awesome. 

This year you’ll see us working to grow the number of photographers falling in love with SmugMug. We’ll be making it easier to get started with SmugMug—and since there are so many different kinds of photographers, it’ll be easier to figure out how to do the things with SmugMug that matter most to you. In past years, many of you earned free subscriptions by participating in the Refer-a-Friend program, and we're excited to revitalize this beloved program and reward you in new and exciting ways, too. 

A lot of the work to make things better for new customers will also improve the experience for SmugMug veterans, too. We’re excited to share these updates with you, built around four primary goals.

Goal #1: Simplify SmugMug around your photos.

The biggest reason you use SmugMug is to safely store, organize and share your photos. But our focus can seem like it's all about building a photo website. Well in 2020, we're making things more streamlined and straightforward around your photos, so you can do exactly what you want with them, website or not.

Everything on SmugMug should be simple. Sharing should be simple. Buying and selling should be simple. Interacting with your clients should be simple. Our #1 goal is to make SmugMug simpler for all of you to use, in exactly the way you want to. 

Going forward we’ll be making it easier to get photos into SmugMug, and easier to do what you want with them, whether that's organize and display or share and sell.

Goal #2: Improve sharing.

As a photo sharing service it should be really easy to share the photos you want with the people you want. While you can grab links to photos and send them to friends, family, and clients, there’s a lot of room to improve those experiences—and the experiences of your viewers. In 2019, the photo viewing experience received some major improvements and we’re seeing all of you share more photos than ever. We’re betting that if we keep making the experience better, you’ll be even more excited to take photos and share them for the world to love.

Goal #3: Help Pros Make More Money.

Over my 15 years as a photographer, I’ve seen so many people evolve in their photography journey. Take the Clickin’ Moms, for example, who started with a general interest in photography and then turned it into a successful photography business. We’ve heard countless stories from Pros who tell us their entire journey included SmugMug, and how it helps them run their business to this day. It’s important that SmugMug remains the leading solution for your photo business.

This year we’ll make it easier for you to attract and retain clients. It’ll be easier to engage with them, deliver photos, and keep them coming back for more. Our partner print labs are continuously adding new products for you to sell and we look forward to expanding the product catalog so you can offer more and more variety to your clients. If you haven’t already enabled “Shop View” on your galleries, turn it on so your print products are displayed as soon as your photos are viewed. Pros who enable it are already seeing their sales increase.

Those of you not currently selling but who are interested in making money from your photos will find it easier to get started, too. We’re making photo sales more streamlined than ever, and we’ll help educate you with all the tips and tricks so you can turn your hobby into cash flow.

Goal #4: Help you do more on your mobile devices.

The iOS and Android apps received a number of big improvements in 2019: you can organize your photos from your phone, update more settings, buy prints of your photos (Android), and automatically upload all your phone photos to SmugMug for safekeeping. This year our apps teams will continue to unlock more functionality in the apps. Your feature requests and app store reviews have been instrumental in helping us understand what are the most important functions to add to the apps.

Keep giving us feedback!

Many of us at SmugMug are photographers ourselves, but the best way that we learn is from hearing from all of you. Please continue to let us know how we can help you and improve your experience. Contact our Support Heroes, leave feedback for the product team, contribute to DGrin forum discussions, or participate in research studies if we reach out to you. We’re always eager to hear from you.

Here’s to a great 2020 for you and for SmugMug!

Written by Aaron Meyers

Feb 20, 2020 · 5 min read

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