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Web Based vs Text Based Virtual Photo Booths

Introduction

Now that we have a basic understanding of virtual photo booth options, we can dive a little more into the pro’s and con’s of each. It seems like the line is drawn pretty hard in the sand between web based virtual photo booth users and text based virtual photo booth users. We’ll explore some things we think are key when choosing an option for your company.

 

We’ll be exploring Web Based Virtual Photo Booths vs Text Based Virtual Photo Booths in the following categories:

 

  • Experiences 
  • Customization & Branding
  • Ease of use for Operators
  • Ease of use for Guests
  • Hardware Requirements
  • Costs

Experiences

Do you want to offer photo only experiences? Meaning, your guests can only create a simple branded photo? Or do you want to offer your clients the ability to create branded photos, gifs and boomerangs? 

Web based virtual photo booths have the capability for you to offer all three types of experiences, while text based photo booths only allow you to create photo experiences. 

If you want to be versatile and have a multitude of offerings for your clients, web based virtual photo booths win hands down.

Winner: Web Based Virtual Photo Booths

Customization & Branding Capabilities

How important is customization & branding to you and your clients? Do you want more opportunities to put your brand in front of people? Do you want to fully design the photo booth experience to match the theme for the event?

Customization & branding are important components in separating yourself from your competition. Especially when there are so many other photo booth companies out there. If all your events look the same or look like the default settings from your photo booth software, how are you going to differentiate?

Text based virtual photo booths only allow you to customize the photo frame the photo is applied and the text sent to the client. 

Because Text Based Virtual Booths operate within the text app, you have zero control over the interface and the user experience. 

Web based virtual photo booths give you much more control. They allow you to customize the entire experience from start to finish with custom graphics, uploading your logos and even linking to other places on the web. If complete customization and branding is important to you, web based virtual photo booths are the clear winner.

Winner: Web Based Virtual Photo Booths

Ease of use for Operators

Setting up a virtual photo booth shouldn’t be a daunting task and for the most part they are not. Text based virtual booths have very simple features, so setup for the operator is very straightforward. You assign the photo frame for the event and configure your text messaging service and you’re good to go.

Web based virtual photo booths have more features and therefor things can get a little weedy. The dashboard for virtual photo booths are usually clean and make setting things up super easy, even when you’re dealing with complicated settings. However, Text based virtual photo booths take this W. Their simpleness goes hand in hand with a simple event setup.

Winner: Text Based Virtual Photo Booths

Ease of use for Guests

Having a virtual photo booth event guests can easily use is very important, especially when you’re dealing with a virtual event and the guests can’t come and ask questions.

Web based virtual photo booths require access to the camera on the device, although some let you upload directly from the library on the device. But, when the virtual photo booth asks for access to the camera, the guest will need to allow access on their device. This isn’t a big deal as all apps already ask for access and permission to use various features on the phone, so users are used to this.

Web based virtual photo booths can run into hiccups when the links are shared to Instagram or Facebook Messenger. When you click a link from these apps, they open a browser within their own app. I.e., if you click a web based virtual photo booth app in Facebook messenger from your iphone, Safari does not open, a Facebook Messenger browser is opened. Because of this, the Android or iOS operating system will not give access to the camera. The guest will have to open the link directly in safari.

A good web based virtual photo booth app can handle this by either:

  1. Warning the user they need to open the link in safari
  2. Allowing the guest to upload directly from the device
 
 

To throw some more salt on it for web based virtual photo booths, the browser can sometimes affect functionality. I’m speaking specifically about the iPhone here. If the guest is using another browser other than safari on their mobile device, the web based virtual photo booth won’t work. It’s a quick fix though, the guest just needs to open the link in safari.

Text based virtual photo booths don’t have any of these challenges. All the user needs to do is text the picture to the number that has been setup for the virtual photo booth. 

Text based virtual photo booths get the W.

Winner: Text Based Virtual Booths

Hardware requirements

Who would think hardware is needed for a virtual photo booth? You’d be surprised!

Text based virtual photo booths require you to have a computer that is running for the entire event. You have to install the software on your own computer. This means you need to actively monitor the computer to make sure it did not shut down, go to sleep, or start installing updates in the middle of your event!

Also, to run multiple events at once, you will need multiple computers running multiple versions of the software. To make any changes to a text based virtual photo booth, you’ll be tethered to your computer. You have to be at the physical computer in order to do so.

Web based virtual photo booths run on a server provided by your service provider. You simply go to the website of your VBSP, login, and set up your event. When you are done you can close out the browser and shut down your computer. You don’t need to monitor anything in regards to the booth running because the service provider is handling all of that.

Web based virtual photo booths also allow you to run multiple events simultaneously, and you don’t need additional hardware. It all runs from your account with your VBSP. You can login to your VBSP from your phone and check out booth activity and even make changes if you need to.

Winner: Web Based Virtual Booths

Costs

Web based virtual photo booths are not a one time purchase, while text based virtual photo booths are. With a web based virtual photo booth, you will pay monthly or per-event. You may have additional costs for background removal and other metered usage. With a text based virtual photo booth, you pay one time for the software you want to use. You will have to pay text message costs and also costs for background removal. With text based virtual photo booths you may have to pay for incremental software upgrades, but it will be at a fraction of the original purchase price. Overall though, text based virtual photo booths are cheaper. But does cheaper mean better? For the sake of this comparison, we’ll say yes and give the W to text based virtual photo booths.

Winner: Text Based Virtual Booths

Showdown Winner

It is indisputable that web based virtual photo booths have more features and capabilities than text based virtual photo booths. Web based virtual photo booths offer much more, but all of these bells and whistles come with a price. This seems to be the biggest reason why those who choose text based virtual photo booths over web based virtual photo booths do so. If you are on a very tight budget or the thought of paying monthly (or per use) is daunting to you, your best bet might be to go with a text based virtual photo booth. However if you want to be at the cutting edge and offer your clients an array of features to separate yourself from competitors, web based virtual photo booths win overall hands down.