Do you fancy yourself as some sort of Internet funny man? Does every comment you leave explode into a dazzling spectacle of upvotes? Are you the last standing disciple of online jocosity, raised in the ancient writings of Maddox and Seanbaby?
Snark.ly wants to be a community of funny people, all caught in an endless battle for the Internet’s most precious currency: the approval of strangers.
These guys have their one-line pitch down perfectly, so I’ll let their words do the talking. The first email they sent opened with: “Imagine if the New Yorker Caption Contest was democratically decided and anyone could upload a pic! Thats us!”
And…that’s pretty much the gist of it. Anyone can upload a picture, and then it’s up to everyone else to battle for the best caption, while voting up their favorites. Top captions (or “Snarks”) and top captioners (“Snarkers”) of the week and of all-time are highlighted on a running scoreboard.
Snark.ly has actually been around in some form for a few months now, just deliberately running as low under the radar as they could manage, as they worked out the kinks. They’ve since gone through three full iterations of the application, with plans to “officially” launch tomorrow morning.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out. The app’s fate lies in actually being able to make people laugh, which in turn requires people who are actually, you know, funny. It’s easy to make a community of people who think they’re funny – but building a large group of people who can actually make everyone else laugh is quite challenging. Very few have done it deliberately; heck, the only one I can think of that pulled it off for a long while is Fark, and that required a ton of careful moderation and nurturing.
Snark.ly is the first app out of Pike Productions, a team founded by Andrew Playford, Barry Kaplan, and Paul Malolepsy. Paul was previously a director at Alki Labs, while Barry and Andrew come from SmartRay Networks, a messaging platform which they sold for $36M right in the middle of 2000. It’s thus far funded by its founders.
And because everyone loves a good pivot story: Snark.ly actually began its life as LingoMatch, an app meant to crowd-source the translation of uncommon/slang phrases. It clearly wasn’t doing too hot in its early days of testing, so the founders lightened the mood for themselves by throwing snarky phrases into the mix for translation…and everyone loved it. Thus, Snark.ly.
You can find Snark.ly in the App Store right over here.