If a picture wasn’t taken, did it really happen? Come on, you know that is how it seems on social media these days! From people sharing pictures of babies to engagement rings to what they are eating for dinner, it is obvious that we like to document our daily lives.
Why are we so focused on capturing and documenting our lives? Because memories matter! Often, pictures are the only physical (or digital) reminders of special days or events in our lives. But, let’s face it. Not everyone on our social media feeds needs (or wants) to see all our pictures.
Rather than sharing every picture from the bachelorette party, the birthday party, or a day in the life of your baby, people want safe places to share memories with friends and family. We don’t want our precious memories just to be floating around the internet – especially when kids are involved! As a mom, I would much rather share photos of my kid’s birthday directly with their grandparents through an easy smartphone app than by posting tons of pictures to social media.
This is why more and more people are looking for apps that include private photo sharing tools. Fortunately, developers are taking note. Aside from privately sharing albums on Facebook or through sites like Shutterfly, Google Photos, Flickr or iCloud, there are apps designed primarily for privately and safely sharing memories with just the people in your close circle.
I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Here are my favorite apps for sharing memories with friends and family only.
fotobooks is a free event creation app that works exceptionally well for documenting and sharing memories from your family’s special events. For instance, the app allows you to invite guests to your kid’s birthday party, as well as create a gift registry and upload photos and videos to the event feed. Your guests can post to the feed, too! The photos are stored in a unique memory album where guest can like or comment, and the album can be shared to Facebook if you choose. Plus, another reason this app stands out is that you can print a photo book from the photos from your memory album.
Parents love this photo-sharing app because it works as a digital journal. The app allows users to privately share photos, videos, and notable baby memories with family and friends. For families with long-distance relatives, this app works well. Users invite those who they want to view their digital album, and then the select family and friends will receive mobile or email notification when you post an update. It’s like social media – but private and secure.
Cluster works by allowing you to form private groups. Within these private clusters, you can share photos, videos, and comments. Plus, you can even use the app to chat with those in the private cluster. However, everyone needs to have the app in order to join and see memories in your private group.
Photo Butler is unique because it is a real-time collaborative photo sharing app. In other words, let’s say you are at a concert. Public Photo Butler users can upload photos to the concert feed. While it is used for major events, it does have private event sharing options. For example, if you are at a baby shower, Photo Butler allows all the guests to contribute photos and videos to the event feed.
For growing families, Tinybeans is a great app to record and share memories. Essentially, it works as a digital baby book. For any parents who have struggled to keep up an actual physical baby book, this is the app for you. This app is designed for parents to record memories beginning at pregnancy, document milestones, and post photos. Then, you choose who in your family and friend group you would like to receive notifications of new updates.
Jennifer Curry is a freelancer writer specializing in parenting, education, and faith topics. In her life before kids, she was a high school teacher and a teen librarian. When she is not taking care of her two cute (but very loud) children or working, you can find her reading books.