Disney has always been known for it’s stories whether told through film, television, music, song and even in three dimensions as guests visit Disney Parks and share their experiences but through their new Story app, they’re providing everyone with the ability to shoot, create, and share their own stories using iPhone photos. This week Disney released Story for iOS, a free app that allows individuals to use the photos that are taken with their iPhone to share what Walt Disney called “magnificent commonplaces” by creating photo albums that can be immediately shared. It’s a powerful tool that allows families to share favorite moments in real time with loved ones quickly and easily from the palm of your hand.
Disclosure: Story was shared with me as a guest of this year’s Social Media Moms Celebration Conference. As an attendee, I paid a conference fee and additional travel expenses but am receiving perks at a substantially-reduced rate. I was not asked or required to publish content related to the conference or Disney. All opinions are my own. Photos courtesy of Disney.
How to use Story courtesy of Disney
Start by downloading the free app from iTunes and upon opening it on your iPhone, photos from your camera’s album are pulled in to the app. Called My Moments, photos are sorted by date and are immediately compiled into a 20 picture photo album with the date on the cover.
The app’s animation will slide your photos from left to right, allowing you to view them in album form. Tap on any photo to edit, remove, add a 75 character caption, or adjust the layout by dragging and dropping photos on to each other to make a collage. Add an entire page of text using up to 150 characters.
It’s also easy to customize your Story by creating a story from scratch. Add photos and video from your camera’s library or shoot photo or video right from your phone to incorporate directly from the screen.
Just be sure to not delete photos from your phone that you might want to save for future stories using Story. Once they’re deleted from your phone, you’ll need to transfer the photos and video you want to a folder then synch it to iCloud in order to be able to access them. Emily Vanek from ColoradoMoms also recommends using an app called Cyberduck, a free FTP client, to transfer them back on to your phone and Andrea Updyke from Lil Kid Things suggests storing items in a Dropbox folder.
A Story also offers 5 different themes: Story, Classic, Modern, Fresh, and Mickey to give your My Stories a different look and feel.
Once your story is ready, it can be saved under My Stories. It opens like a book and pages unfold beautifully, allowing you to soak in special moments. Creations from the Story app can also be immediately shared via email, the web, or social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Individual My Stories can also be embedded into blog posts. Those that you share your stories with don’t need to have the Story app to view these special moments.
Disney’s past apps have been developed with a kid-focus but Story is an app designed for the whole family that is a must-download especially as summer vacations are on the horizon. The easy to use interface allows kids and adults alike with a platform to create and share stories. Kids will love being able to transform personal photos into storybooks. Parents can appreciate the fact this interactive app uses photos as built in story starters that encourage writing and creative storytelling.
Here’s my very first Story that I created during my first day at this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!
From an online and personal safety perspective, be aware of what photos you are including in your album just as you would be with any online photo sharing tool or social network. As you an see from the above story I created after my first day at Disney Social Media Moms, my Story can be viewed by anyone who has the link and since the HTML is readily available, it can be embedded in anyone’s website. It’s important to be aware of who you’re sharing your Story creations with as those with links can further share them, leaving distribution of content, such as photos of your children, outside your control.
While the app is great in it’s simple form, I’d love to see some additional functionality such as the ability to rotate photos as part of the edit feature. Photos are imported from your camera as-is meaning that if a photo is taken upside down, you will need to rotate it in your camera before it is imported into My Moments. I’d love to be able to create a Story and order a hard copy directly from my phone since so many of my photos live digitally. Perhaps these features will be added in subsequent updates.
Regardless, Story by Disney is a fabulous free new app that is a must have that allows you to compile those special moments into stories that can be shared for generations to come.