Popular creative photography service and application company VSCO has now revealed a new partnership with Samsung through the company's "Made For Samsung" program in conjunction with this year's Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco. The partnership sets VSCO as the program's official photo editing partner and the announcement is accompanied by the release of an exclusive version of the VSCO application. Created via a collaboration between the two companies and only accessible through the Samsung Galaxy Apps Store, VSCO for Samsung is available for free starting today for Samsung device owners.
The app includes four exclusive presets meant to highlight and take advantage of the top-of-the-line camera hardware and optimizations found in the Korean tech giant's smartphones. Collectively referred to as the "Day to Night" collection, each is also explicitly designed to enhance the quality of images snapped during specific times of the day. Dawn (SM1), for example, helps bring out the soft tones and improve contrast in photos taken during the morning hours while Evening (SM3) highlights textures and colors that are amplified during the "golden hour" just before the sun sets completely. Midday (SM2) and Nighttime (SM4) on the other hand, similarly serve times of day associated with their names. The former of those brings out primary colors and saturates photos more brightly adding a "hint of warmth" and the latter emphasizes contrasting colors and helps retain details.
Background: VSCO has been available on Android since way back in 2013 and, far from being a simple image filtering tool, is often lauded as one of the best all-around photography tools available for the platform. Although the free-to-use app and service center around providing users with a way to create great photos and view those taken by others, it also features educational content to lead users through the creative process and improve their overall skills. Those aspects of the business, in combination with its ad-free nature and the creation of add-ons for major players in the photo editing space such as Adobe, have propelled VSCO to become very popular with the next-generation of mobile photographers. Specifically, the company reports that more than 70-percent of its users are under 25-years-old.
That popularity has almost certainly played a role in Samsung's decision to partner with VSCO. Given the current downtrend in mobile shipments and Samsung's somewhat tenuous position at the top of the rankings for that, partnering with a service that's widely recognized among younger demographics serves to further elevate Samsung's own brand-recognition. Moreover, most of Samsung's own losses on that front to competitors such as Huawei and other Chinese OEMs - mostly due to low pricing and challenges in the mid-range and budget categories. Including the new VSCO features under a new partnership on all of its Galaxy-branded handsets means that users won't necessarily need to buy the latest flagship handsets to take better photos and with unique adjustments that can't be had elsewhere.
Impact: Taken with consideration for Samsung's partnership with Epic Games on its Fortnite release for Android, the new partnership appears to be indicative of Samsung's strategies going forward. Namely, the smartphone manufacturer seems to be bringing services and exclusive features such as those listed above in order to highlight either more individual or widespread features of its handsets. With Fortnite, Samsung was eager to show off how powerful the underlying hardware of its latest flagships is, appealing more directly to a gaming-specific audience. With VSCO, it is taking a different route and appealing more broadly to growing trends in mobile photography and looking to give its devices across the board more of an edge in terms of consumer appeal.