Social Network startups face an uphill battle when it comes to getting users attached to their services, and the new food-based network Picdish is no exception. The app for iPhone and iPod Touch is designed for users to document their food experiences from start to completion through photos.
Picdish, which requires an account or Facebook connect, asks users to upload and tag as many photos as they want surrounding a particular food experience, whether it be a meal out, a culinary demonstration or cooking a meal from scratch. The experience will be sent across Picdish’s network for other users to view and comment on. Picdish’s immediate problem is that there are currently very few users on the system, making it difficult to see the service’s true potential.
Aside from a limited user network, I’m just not sure there’s a need for another food-centered service like this when networks such as Foodspotting and foodgawker are established and thriving. Picdish’s twist is that all photos taken from one location will be grouped together automatically, allowing friends and families to seamlessly share content. (Unfortunately, this features reminds me of the app disaster Color.) I’m also having trouble envisioning what users will gain from viewing these photo experiences. The idea of putting lots of photos together is different enough, but I’d think most people interested in the full steps of a dish would want recipe info — something that’s too complicated to type into this app.
Further, photos are displayed newest to oldest, which means to follow an experience from the beginning — the purpose of this app — you have to flick to the bottom and work your way up. (You can also scroll horizontally through thumbnails, but these are too tiny to make much impact.) Since this is a photo-centric app, it's natural that it won’t run as quickly as others, but the load time is atrocious even over speedy Wi-Fi and a solid 3G connection.