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SnapMyLife brings its users' photos live to the Web in real time, with help from Mechanical Turk

One benefit of fully integrating Mechanical Turk is that, as our business grows, Amazon Mechanical Turk very effectively enables us to scale the increasing load of picture moderation and tagging tasks. Based on our early positive experiences, we are exploring using Mechanical Turk for other similar tasks in the future.
George Grey
CEO, SnapMyLife

Quickly and carefully moderating and tagging a growing stream of user-submitted photos

SnapMyLife enables people to instantly share photos from their mobile phones, either with a private group or with the entire global user base. To make the service appealing to a wide range of both consumers and advertisers, SnapMyLife makes it a priority to moderate submissions to remove inappropriate pictures.

SnapMyLife's internal staff manually moderated picture submissions, adding tags to help users find the most relevant content, but found this to be a time-consuming activity. As SnapMyLife rapidly grew, an increasing proportion of time was spent on picture moderation. Additionally, the company had a goal of approving photos as quickly as possible after submission, to give users near-real-time access to shared photos. This required coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To maintain the high quality of photos on the site and the quick response time its users expected, SnapMyLife needed a more efficient way to moderate and tag its users' photos.

Staff the photo moderation and tagging project with the on-demand workforce on Mechanical Turk

SnapMyLife engaged with Mechanical Turk to automate and crowdsource the moderation and tagging process. Now, as a new photo is uploaded to SnapMyLife, it is immediately posted as a HIT to Mechanical Turk Workers, who moderate and tag the photo, allowing SnapMyLife to publish new photos to the website within three minutes. This allows users to almost immediately see what other users post, a key benefit of SnapMyLife's service.

Users post photos around the clock, previously requiring a staff to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By contrast, the global workforce on Mechanical Turk scales up and down based on demand. With Mechanical Turk, SnapMyLife only paid for the work that was done and estimates it saved more than 50% of the cost of other outsourcing methods.

SnapMyLife reports Mechanical Turk delivered:
Fast Turnaround
  • Three-minute delay between photo submission, moderation, tagging, and publishing to the live website
Lower Cost
  • 50% of the cost of other outsourcing methods

Learn more about SnapMyLife by visiting their website,