Storehouse: the most wonderful story sharing flop ever

Storehouse shuttered in summer 2016, just a couple years after they launched, but the app and website introduced or made beautiful a few features that remain interesting now.

Their funding story tells of how the founders resisted supporting textual content. “At first, Kawano said, videographers and photographers using the app would tell him, ‘I’m not a good writer.’ But seeing the power of stories with captions ‘inspired them to … get out of their comfort zone and add a little bit more text.’”

Techcrunch covered the app launch explaining: “you can use the clever creation tool to arrange [your photos and videos] into a story with a cover image and a completely free-form layout of your choosing. Tapping on an image will let you drag it across in any configuration of horizontal or vertical slicing, and snap it to an invisible grid. You can also pull them out to a full bleed view if you wish.”

That same article notes “Snapchat and Instagram are good examples of the changing ways we’re communicating with each other, but their ‘atomic unit’ — the capsule that they use to present their shared content — consists of a single image or series of single images.”

Storehouse co-founder Mark Kawano said the service was “not for a certain kind of person, it’s for a certain kind of story.” Wired noted “Storehouse has a way of taking the photos you have stashed on your phone and turning them into something more polished.” Then, in mid 2015, the company pivoted toward private family sharing. Steller, launched around the same time as Storehouse, offered similar features.

Storehouse content is poorly archived in the Wayback machine, but here are a couple examples: