Moment Garden, an online tool for keeping track of your baby’s development, is introducing a universal iOS application today which works on both the iPhone and the iPad. The app allows parents to record and capture important moments in their baby’s life on the go – handy since parents never know exactly when their child will start uttering those first words. Moment Garden also offers the ability to share content with a select, private group of a user’s choosing, which the company’s founders say makes it a more secure alternative to sharing on Facebook.
Online baby books are nothing new; there’s a whole slew of them out there for both the web and mobile devices, including The Day Baby Was Born, BaBiMia, and Sweet Baby. Moment Garden co-founder Zachary Garbow believes that the crowded field only means more opportunity for a single player to emerge as a dominant presence.
“The concept of an online baby book is not a new one,” he said. “The market is huge and valuable, yet no product has captured the market yet.” The online baby products market is already a multi-billion dollar industry, and is projected to grow.
Garbow believes Moment Garden is well-positioned to capitalize on that growth for a couple of different reasons. First, he says his product is simple. “Most entrants into this space litter their product with features to try to serve every purpose,” he said. “Moment Garden makes it simple to add moments from anywhere: each garden has a custom email address for the child, and any photos or stories that the parent emails to that address is automatically added to that child’s garden.”
“Secondly, we feel that the timing is right for a product like Moment Garden, particularly in the mobile space,” he added. The company’s iOS apps allow users to capture moments whenever they may happen, which is much more practically useful from a parent’s perspective.
Of course, Moment Garden doesn’t only face competition from other niche players. General purpose tools like Facebook, Path, or even private blogs can provide parents with ways to track their baby’s progress. Facebook recently introduced Timeline, in fact, a product which seems uniquely suited to exactly that kind of behavior, and Path offers more privacy and control over sharing if that’s what parents are after. However, Garbow still thinks Moment Garden has the edge on those products.
“We have talked to some folks who have used services such as Path or a private blog as a baby focused alternative to Facebook for sharing content,” he said. “The problem with using these products for your baby is that it’s not focused on that particular use case. As a result, it’s often cumbersome or confusing to set up and use. Not many grandparents are going to feel comfortable visiting a private blog and setting up an RSS feed for updates.”
Moment Garden offers its products free, both on the web and on iOS devices. The bootstrapped company hopes to lure revenue dollars two ways: through an on-demand photo book printing feature, not unlike those offered through Apple’s iPhoto app, and also through premium subscriptions that offer advanced features, discounts on baby-related products and unlimited video uploads (free users get just one per month).
The site, which launched in private beta in 2010, isn’t disclosing user numbers, but did tell BetaKit that it’s seen over 60,000 moments saved by users thus far. Regardless of what Garbow thinks about the suitability of existing social networks for sharing baby info specifically, Moment Garden’s biggest challenge will be convincing a substantial number of users that Path, Facebook and other solutions aren’t cutting it. New mobile apps that help parents use the site wherever they may be should at least provide some help with that considerable undertaking.