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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is ZloViewer?

ZloViewer is the combination of a web based and PC based media editing and sharing platform.

Can I use the application or web portal independently?

Yes, the features offered by both are unique and serve a different purpose. You can use both or either one, however to create ZloImages on your PC you must log in to your account.

Is ZloViewer free?

All users are placed in the free tier when they sign up. Users are allocated 30 ZloCredits a month to use however they see fit. ZloImages created by free tier accounts expire after 14 days.

Why isn't ZloViewer completely free?

  • We want to avoid having paid advertisements
  • Our competitors have billions of dollars and we are launching on a shoestring budget.
  • We'd like to be completely free someday while not compromising our principles and our user's privacy.
  • View the cookies for this site or open it open in an adblock browser. You won't find any tracking cookies. The only cookies we utilize are what's necessary to maintain your user session (login) and cache data for you. (See OMG Cookies!
  • At ZloViewer you and your information are not the product!

What is a ZloImage

A ZloImage is the combination of media (photos and video) into a single view that is based upon the viewing device's screen size.

What is a Frozen ZloImage?

When you freeze a ZloImage, the ZloImage and associated media are moved to a different storage medium that has a little higher latency (takes a little longer to load) and several features that allow you to modify a ZloImage are disabled.

The benefit is that the cost of both storage and traffic is reduced by half. (For Example, with 1 gigabyte of storage allocated you can store 2 gigabytes of frozen ZloImages and with 1 gigabyte of traffic allocated you can transmit 2 gigabytes of data.) A Frozen ZloImage can be thawed if you want to make further modifications to it.

Normally, ZloViewer will resize media on the fly based upon the user's viewport to reduce traffic usage. For a Frozen ZloImage, ZloViewer no longer resizes media on the fly but will create several reduced resolution files for each media file to present based on the users viewport (So you won't necessarily see the total storage space cut by exactly 50% for a frozen ZloImage)

Is there an Android or Apple app?

No, because it's simply not necessary and we don't want or need access to your device.

ZloViewer's website is a Progressive Web App. You can install it to the desktop/homepage of your device when prompted or manually depending on your type of device. A Progressive Web App provides many of the features as a native app without being so gosh darn intrusive.

If there's a compelling reason in the future we might create a native app.

Installing ZloViewer is often as simple as choosing 'Add ZloViewer to Home Screen' when your browser prompts you. If you previously declined but now would like to install, check the browser menu for an 'Add to Home Screen' option.

If I use Facebook as my login provider, is ZloViewer going to post as me?

No, we don't offer that functionality and have no plans to. If you want to post to Facebook copy a link to your ZloImage and post it manually.

What information do you get from my chosen login provider?

We request the bare minimum which includes your name, e-mail address and avatar (picture). We don't want more and have no compelling reason to request more information at this time.

How can I find my friends from Facebook?

If they've enabled searching by e-mail address, try that. Or ask them their ZloViewer name. We do not request friend information for Facebook as there's no compelling reason to at this time.

What do the "Permission to Access" settings do?

Inclusive - A user who meets any of these enabled options is granted access:

  • Public - Anyone can view the ZloImage
  • ZloViewer User - Someone who is logged into ZloViewer
  • ZloViewer Follower - Someone who has chosen to follow you
  • ZloViewer Friends - Someone whom you have explicitly formed a friendship with
  • ZloViewer Close Friend - Someone whom you have explicitly marked as being a close friend

Exclusive - If a user is marked as any of these and these options haven't been enabled then they will be denied access even if they meet the requirements of the inclusive permissions above.

  • ZloViewer Frenemy - Someone that is marked as a friend, but there may be a dislike or rivalry that would cause you to not share certain things with them.
  • ZloViewer Family - Sometimes you don't want to share everything with your family!

General Items:

  • Don't show in Gallery - The ZloImage won't show up in the Gallery View for users besides yourself. The user would need a direct link to the ZloImage (and meet other permission requirements) in order to view it.
  • Social - Social Permissions can be set for the main ZloImage and the media contained within it. You can enable commenting and "Liking" the media. If Like and Share is enabled, recognized social media sites will be able to get a small thumbnail or the item when it is posted on their site.
  • Require Password - Further secure a ZloImage by requiring the viewer to enter a predetermined password because granting access.

What do the "Allow Users to" settings do?

  • Directly Access by URL - If not enabled, the viewer must visit the Gallery that contains a ZloImage before they can access a ZloImage. Note that if "Don't Show in Gallery" is selected and this option is disabled no one besides yourself will be able to view a ZloImage
  • Directly access media - If enabled, a user can go directly to media contained within a ZloImage without accessing it from the ZloImage if they have the link. Otherwise they'll be redirected to the ZloImage that contains the media.
  • View as List - If enabled, a user will be able to view all the media in a ZloImage in a traditional thumbnail gallery format.
  • Download - Permission that can be set for several user types which when disabled protects against casual downloading or saving media from a user's browser.
  • Upload (Friends Only) - Allow friends to contribute media to your ZloImage. Media is stored in a hold queue and you will have the opportunity to approve or disapprove it before incorporating into your ZloImage.

What are permission expirations? --

When set, the enabled permission will automatically be disabled when the selected period has elapsed. A use case might be allowing public access for several hours when you are posting a link to one of your ZloImages to Facebook which would allow your friends to view it even if they're not a ZloViewer user or ZloViewer friend. If they try to access it again after that period they would not be able to.

What does following a user do?

When you follow a user, you will receive notifications when that user posts a new ZloImage that you have access to.

When you become friends with someone, by default you automatically begin following them, however you will not show up as a "Follower" in the Friends/Followers tab unless you have explicitly selected to follow them as well.

In the friends tab, you can choose to unclick the "Follow" option to no longer recieve notifications about your friend's new ZloImages while maintaining your friendship.

A friend does not know how many of their friends are following them.

Followers do not automatically receive any other updates about that user or ZloImage unless they specifically subscribe to that ZloImage. (See next FAQ item)

What does subscribing to a ZloImage do?

When you subscribe to a ZloImage, you will recieve notifications about activity on the ZloImage such as comments and reactions.

You can explicitly subscribe to any ZloImage that is visible to you by going into the comments and clicking the subscribe icon.

You can also set up ZloViewer to automatically subscribe you to any ZloImage that you react to or comment on by modifying the appropriate communications settings in My Account

Communication Options / Push Notifications / Email

We aim to give you as much control over how we communicate with you as possible. From the communications settings in My Account you can set your preferences for many items.

You can choose to receive no communications, e-mails, push notifications or both.

We DO NOT automatically establish push notifications, you must specifically enable it for each device you want to receive notifications on, and can disable or delete that permission at any time.

What happens when a ZloImage expires?

Upon expiration, a ZloImage will no longer be accessible to any other users besides yourself. You have the option to send yourself an e-mail notifying you of the expiration as well as the option to automatically delete a ZloImage upon expiration.

You can of course change the expiration at any time, however free accounts are limited to expirations 14 days after the ZloImage was first created.

How can a mobile user see captions?

If a mobile user performs a long touch of any media that has a caption it will be displayed without opening the media.

What is Autofreeze?

When enabled, a ZloImage will automatically freeze when the selected period has passed. Once frozen a ZloImage can't be modified without Thawing it first. You might set a ZloImage to autofreeze as a way of finalizing it after a period of time to take advantage of the reduced storage and traffic cost.

What happens when I post a link to a shared Google Photos Gallery?

Any images included in the shared photo gallery are downloaded and processed by ZloViewer's servers, allowing you to secure them any way you see fit. For videos, an image is downloaded to be used in your ZloImage but when viewed the original hosted location is used to deliver the video to the viewer. Therefore, if you have only shared images from this link it is safe to delete it in Google Photos; however, if there are videos you must keep that link available for the videos to continue playing properly.

Why isn't my Google Photos Video being recognized?

Sometimes the video isn't fully backed up to the cloud when you copy the link, and when we get the information it doesn't reflect all the information yet that we need to recognize it as a video.

How is outbound traffic handled when including YouTube and Google Photos Videos?

Traffic is handled differently depending on how you're using the 3rd party media in your ZloImage. Please see "3rd Party Videos" in How ZloCredits Work for a detailed explanation.

Why doesn't ZloViewer host YouTube Videos and Google Photos Videos internally?

Because it would be extremely cost prohibitive at this time. You can upload videos directly from the ZloViewer application that will be hosted on ZloViewer but this feature is experimental.

Can ZloImages be embedded or redirected on another website?

Yes, you can allow your ZloImages to be embedded on another website or redirected to another website when a user clicks on media. You can also do both. You can set this option by accessing the 'More' menu of a ZloImage from a gallery. By default, it is not allowed. See Embedding or Redirecting a ZloImage for more information.

Use cases might include:

  • Creating a ZloImage that links to other ZloImages
  • A real estate agent creating grouping all their listings in one ZloImage and then redirecting to an appropriate page for each listing
  • A small business Linking to product pages from a ZloImage

What is traffic and how does it work?

Traffic refers to the amount of data that is transmitted to you or other users that is generated by your use of ZloViewer. For instance, if a user views a 200KB media file in one of your ZloImages, you incur a traffic charge of 200KB.

If that ZloImage is Frozen, you only incur a 100KB traffic charge.

If you have a Creative Commons license applied to the ZloImage, there is a 20% discount applied. For the previous two examples the traffic charge would be 160KB and 80KB respectively.

You allocate Traffic using ZloCredits via the usage tab of My Account

You can pre-allocate traffic (when your account cycles monthly), purchase traffic at will, or automatically allocate additional traffic as it is exhausted. Pre-allocating is cheapest, and automatic is most expensive.

If you download media (as opposed to just viewing) from another user, the traffic is charged to you. If you save media from a normal ZloImage to WIP there is no traffic charge. If that ZloImage is frozen, then there is a traffic charge.

If you have no traffic available then other users can't see any of your ZloImages.

How is traffic tracked?

We use a technique called sharding to keep track of Traffic. Sharding allows us to serve data at increasing scales with little impact on the user experience.

To try and explain it in simple terms: Imagine 500 people view your ZloImage within a couple seconds. (Wow you're popular!). Tracking all of those and attributing it to you in a sequential order would be super demanding. Rather, as traffic increases we make a "clone" of you as many times as necessary and then allocate traffic to each of those clones. Say there are 20 clones, each would be allocated approximately 25 of those requests. Then we go to each clone and say, "How much did you data did you record" and sum it at a later time.

When traffic is generated that is attributable to you, we sum up the usage 60 seconds after the traffic first started and you will see "Traffic Balance Updated" in the transactions tab of My Account.

You also have the ability to enable detailed traffic logging which uses another technique. See the next FAQ item to find out more.

What is detailed traffic logging and how does it work?

Detailed traffic logging, which can be enabled under the usage tab of My Account, provides you with much more information about the traffic related to your activity and ZloImages. It will show you what ZloImages and media are generating your traffic and can be enabled or disabled whenever you wish. You can also choose to ignore traffic that you generate if it's clogging up your transaction log.

Continuing with our analogy from the FAQ Question 'How is traffic tracked?', for detailed traffic the clones also write down what created the traffic and throw it on the floor, where a sweeper comes by and collects each item and collates it to be shown in your log.

While the traffic tracking system actually changes your traffic balance ("Traffic Balance Updated"), detailed traffic logging is more of an informational system. "This or that created this much traffic doing this." It will show the traffic amount, but doesn't affect the balance. It's also possible that it shows up in your log after a balance updated message.

How much storage or traffic do I need?

If you are an average user sharing amongst friends and family, most likely surprisingly little. When you create and upload a ZloImage, you can choose a maximum size of the media so even a 20 megapixel camera image that has been restricted resolution to say 2560x1920 will take up a relatively small amount of storage space.

When that media is viewed, traffic is incurred but ZloViewer will actually resize the image only the fly if the users viewport is smaller than the 2560x1920 of the stored image which reduces traffic usage. You can utilize Frozen ZloImages to further reduce storage and traffic usage

If you are super popular, sharing with the public, a business, or any one else who may generate a lot of traffic it may take some trial and error to find the right allocations for traffic and you can enable automatic traffic increases to accomodate a surge.

If I subscribe, What user tier do I need?

So there are 10 user tiers which we know can be overwhelming but we wanted to give the opportunity for a user to customize based on their needs as much as possible. ZloViewer is fully usable as a free tier user; however your ZloImages will expire after one month and must be frozen to be shared. Both those restrictions are removed for all paid tiers.

Our recommendation would be to start off on tier 1 ($0.99/mo) or tier 2 ($2.99/mo). You can always upgrade or downgrade later and both of those actions will prorated any existing credit into your new plan.

Our founder uses the service as any other user would to maintain a solid grasp on what users experience. He is heavy on ZloImage creation, automated tagging and using the Windows Application but not very especially popular. He subscribes to the tier 2 plan and allocates 1 GB to both storage and traffic.

If you have a lot of media that you are moving into ZloViewer as ZloImages, you may find the quantity of ZloImages that you create in the initial months of usage will be much higher than you would create on an ongoing basis. Rather than getting too high a subscription, you can purchase extra ZloCredits (that never expire) beneath where you set your subscription options in MyAccount-->ZloCredits

What resolution is a ZloImage / how do they work?

When you create a ZloImage, about 3 dozen different composite images are created ranging from small mobile screen sizes up to large screen displays. For each one, many thousands of position and resolution combinations are tried for each media item within a ZloImage with the one that maximizes coverage for a particular size being chosen.

When you view a ZloImage, ZloViewer looks at the resolution available for display of the ZloImage and then looks at the available ZloImage resolutions and their coverage to pick the one that maximizes coverage on your device.

Over time, the number of composite images and resolutions will vary based upon usage and internal goals to meet specific coverage targets. If you want a specific resolution like 1000x200 set your browser window size to that and view a ZloImage thousands of times. Just kidding, don't do that.

What is New User Surge?

New User Surge is a way to control ZloViewer's scalability. See New User Surge for more information

Who owns the copyright or has a license to my media?

You maintain full ownership and rights to your media as specified in our Terms of Service (Sections 5 and 6). Unless you specify some other type of license through our licensing tool (such as Creative Commons or a custom license) it defaults to all rights reserved. You give us a limited license to your media solely to deliver the services we provide to you.