Terminus for Dronestagram
Time to turn the page and move on
Today is a special day as I come to you to inform you that the Dronestagram journey will come to an end in the next few days.
I had created this site within just a few days in July 2013 to share my passion and build a community around this brand new hobby: photography and video by drone.
At the beginning it was a side project, but thanks to you it has been so unexpectedly successful that we turned it into a real start-up, with a fundraising and the setup of a small development team.
We had the first specialized platform in the world dedicated to drone imagery, then we created and launched the first drone photo contest in the world, with renowned partners like National Geographic.
We also launched the first service platform connecting professional drone pilots and clients in need of aerial images. We saw ourselves as the "Uber of aerial imaging".
And the site was our storefront.
The community became very large and engaged, and the site was getting hundreds of thousands of visitors every month even though we hadn't even optimized it in Google. Our Instagram account went from 0 to 40,000 organic followers in no time. Same thing on Facebook. We had a huge media coverage, and I even had the honors of an appearance on CNN (and several other TV channels). We had countless press articles in the world's biggest newspapers.
We had the pleasure of working with prestigious and world-renowned brands in tech, imaging, lifestyle, and even automotive industries.
We even published a book (the firts of its kind) and many printed publications like calendars and so, which sold well worldwide.
We still had many great ideas and projects in mind around drone imaging.
It was a pretty crazy time and full of promising opportunities.
Then things got complicated, especially in terms of regulations, to the point of making any activity around drones extremely difficult and risky, and gradually killing this whole ecosystem. We are a French company, and in France the drone legislation is one of the most restrictive in the world, if not the most. Even if our main audience is in the USA.
The site has gradually lost its appeal and its audience, and we had to stop our activities that put us in a permanent legal risk.
Social networks, which helped us at the beginning, became our main competitors (millions of drone images fulfill Instagram).
I had to part with the team and try and continue the story alone (as explained in our Manifesto), and launched a brand new version last February, but it was becoming more and more difficult for me mentally to take care of the site all by myself, and after much thought I decided to stop.
To be honest I could let the site live its life, but it requires a little time and attention (especially to check the posted pictures and manage the back-office), and my other activities don't allow me to spread myself around anymore.
So I will close the site in a few days, giving time for those who want to get their photos back to download them. Of course if anyone wants to get their photos back once the site is closed, they will always be able to do so by contacting me directly here email@example.com
And of course I won’t use any of these pictures for whatever purpose.
However, the site still has some potential, but needs to spend some time on SEO optimization, to set it up for advertisers and sponsors, and to set up an affiliate system that would probably bring in a significant income. It can also be turned into a market place for drone photography with a revenue share business model, as I started to do. But that's something I don't have the time or inclination to do anymore.
Anyway for a person who is experienced in managing and monetize networks of sites, this should not be a problem, and even may be a great business opportunity.
If anyone of you has the talent and skills for this, or wants to take over and keep the site and its community alive, we can talk, send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not sad, it was a fantastic experience, a step among others in one's life. No regrets, you must know when to turn the page and move on :)
Thanks for your loyalty, take care of yourself, and long live drone photography!