(Post recently updated to reflect updates in app as of Oct 6, 2015)
I‘m of an age where all of my friends are having babies. Babies are everywhere. Heck, I’ve got a little one myself!
Before I was a mom, my single friends would remark:
“Have you seen such and such has had a baby?”
“No really?” I would reply.
“How could you miss it? She’s posted 10000000000 pictures already, and the baby is only 2 hours old!”
It’s true, social media has taken over our lives and we all share, share, share! Sometimes, we over share. I have seen more naked baby butts in the last 5 years than I have ever wanted to see, it’s true. However, I think babies are lovely and don’t mind others sharing their joys.
But some people believe the babies are “clogging” the news feeds lately. I’ve seen the “if you post more than one picture of your child a month, I’m going to unfriend you,” posts.
There is a solution, well lots of solutions but, I want to share my family’s answer to the baby mania overload.
It’s called Lifecake and it’s an app and website by Lifecake Ltd. here’s the iPhone icon:
Lifecake is a separate app/site (separate from social media) that securely allows you to post pictures on a password protected, invitation only, website/ app. The purpose of the service is to allow, whomever you allow, to see as many baby pictures they can handle, when they can handle them.
It is a very easy to use app. Once you open the app (or log into your account as the moderator or as a viewer) you see a picture timeline:
This is my son CDub’s timeline, his recent pictures have been blurred because I’d rather not show what he looks like now. (My newborn diaper picture is one thing, he looks nothing like that now. But a picture taken in the last 24 hours… Call me paranoid if you wish.)
Back to the timeline; you can securely share, daily, weekly, monthly photos (the app sorts the photos by date taken) and presents them to your list of approved viewers, which you control. If somehow, someone tries to gain access, you can block them out. You can determine the level of access, parent, family, not shared (as in not allowed to view) that a person is to receive.
Your approved list can look at, ❤️ or “favorite” a photo or video, and make comments. You as the parent can do these things too, and if you need to, police comments, erase photos, etc. Anyone approved can upload photos, but it’s if you want to keep them up that matters.
There is a side bar area:
Where you can view account specifics, upgrade to a yearly plan (you get 1,000 pictures you can store free; if you want more space it’s under $40 a year for unlimited photo uploads), control levels of access, control separate children’s timelines, get help with questions, invite users to your Lifecake, or view flashbacks which is a lovely slide show option where you can view random (or preselected) photos on a loop.
Here’s the What’s New section that you can navigate to from the lower bar area. As you can see, I have comments and ❤ abound! It’s all very handy!
You can also customize the border color in the app- and so can anyone else. (It only shows the selected color to the person who selected it.)
So that’s a quick and dirty overview. The app is very simple, and simply awesome for sharing photos safely. Your friends and family can choose if they want to see your baby and when. You can also upload videos and type up funny stories to share.
Now I love Lifecake for many reasons. One, my husband’s family lives 12 hours away and my family lives 2 hours away. We have Godparents living 4 hours away and Aunties 6 hours away… So no one lives here. No one has daily access to our son. With this app, I can keep everyone updated on an app specifically made for pictures. The photo quality stays the same as what I took using a camera or a iPhone, after my pictures are uploaded. They can see the daily development of our baby, and watch fun videos I uploaded too. They can download pictures they like or not. Since the pictures are online, no one has to overload email storage or computer storage saving every single shot because, they know it’s always there, online, waiting for them.
Two, this company has excellent security software. I did some research and its top notch. I can google my son’s name and the site/app and nothing comes up on Google (though there was a stripper… Which I was not expecting) . Now I know if the site gets hacked somehow it’s moot but, that’s the danger of posting online period. At least I am doing it a bit safer than others and generally, I would think, hacking baby photos is not a profitable venture.
Three, if you like or your family members like, you can order photo books from the site. Lifecake will customize the books based on your favorite photos or your family member’s favorites. The Lifecake website will put them in a visually appealing layout, that you can alter to your heart’s content. Of course, the photo book feature costs money and it’s a separate cost from subscribing. You do not have to subscribe to make a photo book.
Four, as long as you pay, you can keep this timeline of photos going for years, and as far as I know, use as much space as you want. You just have to continue to pay.
Fifth and final, the app is always ad free.
So really it’s lovely. Yes, there are some negatives. However these negatives are with sharing photos online in general.
Any photos I post people can download to their phones, computers, whatever and upload them to any site they choose. This is though, true of sending pictures over email, text, or any media nowadays. It’s up to you to create boundaries with your family and friends, and let them know how you feel about sharing your child on the internet.
I won’t lie, I still post pictures on Social Media, 3 or 4 have been posted in the past couple of weeks to be exact. I think it’s a great place to share photos too, I don’t knock Facebook or anyone who uses it but… I’ve uploaded over 1,000 photos in the months my son has been alive to Lifecake. I think I might be a media maven, a photophile, a video vixen! I bet my friend’s feeds are very glad I discovered Lifecake.
I know I am, so much so, I am a paid subscriber. I plan to be one too, for as long as the service is safe and exists.
So if you have kids of any age, check this site/app out! I think it’s worth a look!
(Just to let you know, I have not been paid for this review. I just wanted to share something useful I have discovered while being a mommy.)