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Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Viral Image Creator Pro

Viral Image Creator Pro is a new program designed to help non-specialist designers create attractive blog images and 'memes'.

VIC Pro (as it's called for short) was created by John Pearce and Hugh Hitchcock. It was launched this week on the Warrior Forum,  and is on one of their dimesales where the price slowly rises. At the time of writing it's still under $10, though.

I was fortunate enough to receive an advance review copy, so here are my thoughts. First of all, this is a very smart, professional bit of software. It runs on the Adobe Air platform, which means it will work on Mac and Linux computers as well as Windows PCs.

When you first launch the program, you are invited to add details of any WordPress blogs you want to run it with (up to five for the basic version, 50 with the developer's licence). You are also invited to add details of your Twitter and Facebook accounts (one of each for the basic version, and 10 Facebook and Twitter accounts and unlimited Facebook fan pages for the developer's version).

Once you have done this, you can search for a suitable image from the various image libraries included, create a post around this, and share it on Twitter and Facebook, all without leaving VIC Pro.

That's really only the start of it, though. One of my favourite features of VIC Pro is the Meme Editor. This allows you to take the image you have selected, resize it, add text above and below, change the background colour, and manipulate it in various ways. You can then post it to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and so on, as mentioned above.

At the top of this post I've included a meme I created with one of my favourite quotations and an image from MorgueFile (one of the image libraries included) in just a couple of minutes, to give you an idea of what can be done.

As anyone who has ever been on Facebook will know, these type of images are very popular and often spread virally. If you want to attract people to your blog and/or Facebook fan page, they can be an extraordinarily powerful tool.

Using VIC Pro makes creating memes very easy, and you can of course save them to disk for future use. Just one note of caution, though. Not all the images you will find in some of the media libraries accessible via VIC Pro allow unrestricted usage and some (though not MorgueFile) require attribution.

Every image listed by VIC Pro includes a research icon, which lets you check what rights are available for the image on the source website. Unless you are using one of the media libraries that only lists images that are free to use in any way, it's important to research carefully what rights are on offer. I mention this because I've seen several reviews that claim VIC Pro offers a 'royalty-free image search', and in my view that isn't strictly speaking true.

That minor reservation aside, I do think VIC Pro is a very impressive product, and the support from the developers is first class. The software was even updated three times during the time I was testing it, although everything always worked flawlessly for me anyway. I've embedded a video from the developers below, so you can see how it works in practice.

As ever, if you're receiving this post by email or RSS, you may need to visit my blog to see the video.

I should also add that although you will get the most benefit from this software if you are a WordPress blogger, you certainly don't have to be - the image search and meme creation functions (among others) work just as well whatever blogging platform you use, or even if you're not a blogger at all. But if you do use WordPress, you will get the full benefit of VIC Pro's time-saving automated features.

Finally, in addition to the software itself (which is very user-friendly, with on-screen help available at all times), you also get a number of bonuses. These include a guide to setting up WordPress to get the most benefit from VIC Pro, a guide to developer High Hitchcock's favourite free WordPress themes, and a full, free webinar-based training series (no sales pitches) to help you get the most out of the software.

Overall, I think Viral Image Creator Pro is well worth the modest asking price. But there is, in any event, a 60-day unconditional money-back guarantee for additional reassurance. If you want a quick way to locate attractive images and create blog posts and memes from them, it's certainly well worth a look.

If you have any comments or questions about Viral Image Creator Pro, please post them below and I will do my best to answer them!

Disclosure: Some links in this review include my affiliate code, so if you click through and make a purchase, a proportion of the fee you pay will go to me. This hasn't influenced my review, but you should of course complete your own due diligence and read the sales page (and this review) carefully to determine whether this product will be relevant to your needs.


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Anonymous Bryce said...

Very good blog post. Memes can be pretty funny and people really do like to share them.27

10:55 PM  

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