Polaroid deal for Edinburgh photos website

Blipfoto's Joe Tree is looking to expand.Picture: Dan Phillips.

Blipfoto's Joe Tree is looking to expand.Picture: Dan Phillips.

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A CITY website that boasts high-profile fans including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has signed a deal with Polaroid – the instant camera firm – to relaunch in 170 countries.

Popular website Blipfoto allows users to upload one image every day to share their experiences with the website’s community.

Since going online in 2004, the site has exploded in popularity, boasting more than five million days of human history on its pages and attracting 18 million visitors every month.

Now the new website, dubbed Polaroid Blipfoto, promises that users will enjoy a smoother experience and an overhaul of its design.

Joe Tree, founder of Blipfoto, said the move marked a “very exciting” change for the business and insisted Polaroid was “one of the most imporant photographic names in the world”.

“Earlier this year we agreed that we would form a partnership and take Blipfoto to the world together,” he said.

“For me personally, to have taken Blipfoto from a very personal project to this global community that is now holding more than five million days of human life, is just incredible.To now have Polaroid standing beside us, supporting and helping us do this next phase is just phenomenal.

“It takes us a huge step closer to our mission of trying to be the place where the world tells its story – and things are going to happen at a rate and speed that we could only have imagined before.”

Polaroid launched in 1937 and quickly grew to become one of the most recognised brands in photography, pioneering mass market instant cameras. But the move to digital photography among consumers led the company to declare bankruptcy twice in 2001 and 2008 – before relaunching and focusing on digital gadgets.

Councillor Alasdair Rankin, the city’s finance convenor, said the deal marked a “really strong move” for Blipfoto – and insisted Edinburgh was well placed to become a hotspot for technology companies.

He said: “It gives Blipfoto the backing of a large company with international expertise.

“These deals can be worth tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds. Some of these deals fetch extraordinary numbers. I think this is going to be something that’s well worth looking out for to see how it develops.

“In the past these sort of join-ups have turned out to be hugely successful.

“There are quite a lot of these small tech companies in Edinburgh, and there is no reason at all why Edinburgh can’t be a centre for software development.

“These companies are producing world-class output and attracting the interest of businesses around the world. I think these are potentially huge developments.”

alistair.grant@jpress.co.uk