A photo is sometimes all you need to tell a story, but often this can't be done without the right tools. This is something that Chute, a photo management and engagement start-up aims to do with its product suite.

The Visual Revolution

Operating under the idea that there is a “visual revolution” as everyone is looking to tell stories in a different way with photos and videos, Chute offers companies a way to create, manage, present and develop images and other media, while engaging with fans through use of user generated content in ads.

More specifically the company, which was founded in 2011, gives its clients engagement tools where they can take photos from social media sites or encourage fans to upload content. This content is then collected and displayed on a website or app, which in turn encourages more fan engagement and discussion.

An Image Here, An Image There

Despite an overarching focus, Chute’s products aren't all the same, but they all are focused on making the most of visual assets.

The products are as follows:

  • SlideChute: SlideChute is for companies who want to create hashtag oriented, user generated photo galleries. For example, if a shoe company wanted to create a collection of photos of people wearing its shoes, it could change the tool's hashtag settings to the shoe's brand name for Instagram and Twitter which would then display relevant photos. Users can also choose how they want the photos displayed, as options include ways that are similar to Pinterest’s layout, galleria and thumbnails. SlideChute also has an uploading tool so the gallery’s followers can upload their own images from a harddrive or photo storage account, such as Flickr.
  • ChuteAds: The newest Chute product, Chute Ads was just announced today and is designed to “inject real-time content into digital advertising units.” In other words, ChuteAds allows users to bring the customer into the online advertising process as companies can use stock photos in an advertisement or ask fans to provide their own images. With two ad types, streaming and interactive, not only does this tool aim to improve customer engagement, but also gives a company the chance bring together paid, owned and earned media in a marketing campaign.
  • ChuteLive: At an event almost everyone has access to a camera and is almost immediately posting photos to a social media account. Designed for blogs or publications, events and contests, this tool allows users of Chute’s photo gathering technology in collect photos in a real-time capacity. For example, if MacDonald’s was running a contest asking users to share photos of them eating fries with the hashag #MacDonaldFriesContest, the company would collect and display the photos on their website as they received them, or if a the Chute user chose users could upload the photos themselves via Facebook, Instagram, a direct upload, email and others.
  • TinyMeme: These days, there’s a meme for everything, which means that this trend can be used as a good engagement tool. Users can use this tool to bring customers into the conversation by encouraging them to upload photos and create memes that not only can be shared with the company, but other fans and followers.
  • Avatars.io. Where there’s a profile, there’s an avatar and with the Avatars.io tool Chute makes it easy for developers to create a hosted avatar service or a website or application. The three types of avatars available are the social avatar which takes images from social media sites, the Gravatar or the custom avatar which lets website or app user upload their own image.


An interactive ChuteAd image

Chute also offers developers the ability to create their own applications with an API service, a drag and drop tool and the ability to collect relevant photos and other media by integrating the media chooser tool into an app.

A little Bit of Funding

Chute recently received US$ 7 million in a Series A funding round from a variety of investors lead by Foundry Group with major contributions from Freestyle capital U.S Venture Partners. The company says that this funding will be used to expand their product catalogue.