Storybird: Art-Inspired Storytelling Finds New Audiences

Mark Ury came up with the concept for the storytelling site Storybird in 2010 after working on a storybook with his young son. The website, for “art-inspired storytelling,” now has more than two million members. It “works with artists from around the world, who upload their portfolios onto Storybird’s platform. Users choose their art, sequence the images any way they like and add text to turn them into a story,” explains paidContent.

The content is then shareable on social networks and can be embedded into blogs. According to the article, the HTML5 Storybird site looks good on an iPad.

“We’ve essentially taken a children’s publishing imprint, put it on the Web and turned it into social software,” said Ury.

Originally envisioned for the family, Storybird is now in more than 125,000 schools, “with teachers issuing assignments to students and using the site in the classroom to help kids with their writing skills,” writes paidContent.

The site runs on a freemium model and sells memberships to teachers and individuals if they want to upgrade.

It is considering other options for revenue as the site grows, according to the article. “Storybird is considering tip jars for artists, or paywalls, to certain content — ‘“some way, where, as the artist starts to grow, they can create a different approach to revenue,’” said Ury.

“We could be the next multimedia platform for an author or artist,” mused Ury about the future. “We could incubate the next animated series.”