Ponga Help

Get Started Sharing Pictures & Albums

By inviting guests, members can crowdsource stories turning their pictures and albums into collection plates for memories.

A collection of shared images viewed from the library after tapping on "Shared with me"

Ponga is designed for sharing pictures & albums

Stories are meant to be told and they're key to the narratives we tell ourselves about who we are. Our sharing model begins with the concept that our members own their pictures. Your pictures are completely private unless you decide to share them. Should you share them, you can do so in a way that selects just the people you want to have access to. You can invite guests to simply view, to contribute to your pictures with stories, recordings, and other content.

Member Feature

With your paid membership account, you can upload pictures or create albums. Every picture and album is private, and you own the content. Only you can invite guests, and you can invite as many guest contributors as you'd like at no added cost. Your guests can contribute comments, recordings, or any kind of content for free. Unless they are also members, your guests cannot upload new pictures, create albums or add pictures to albums, however. Members can be contributors to other members' pictures and albums.

Your guests

When you share a picture or an album in Ponga, what you're sharing is a private link. Your guests need to create an account, but they're your guests. As your guest, they can not only explore, and add content to the pictures or albums you or other members share with them. As a member, you also have the option of "disinviting" your guests should it no longer make sense to share with them.

No regifting

Your guests cannot reshare your picture, nor can they see who else it was shared with. If you want them to have access to the original, include a link to it in your description or perhaps in a comment. The original is yours, you control it. Notice that the share panel is inaccessible to your guests.

No more worrying that your aunt will misunderstand and share the album with the world on Facebook.  Your brother also won't complain about how your shared pictures are eating up his drive space. Should they try to share your link, the people they share with will be greeted with an opportunity to log in.

If a guest of yours upgrades to become a member, all of the content you shared with them remains in their account. It is still shared with them, and their access remains the same. As a member, they can now upload and share their own pictures. They still cannot reshare the pictures you shared with them.

Viewing Shared Pictures & Albums

When your contributors open an album that you shared with them, they'll notice a curved arrow at the bottom right corner of each image. In the album below, "Aunt Alice," we're viewing it from Mary's account. You can see from the upper right that it was shared with Mary by Elizabeth Griscomb and that she is viewing the album as a guest.

Notice the picture on the top left. It does not include a curved arrow at the bottom. That means that Mary owns that picture and Elizabeth Griscomb allowed her to "Edit" access which means she can add pictures to the album. Once she adds pictures, only Elizabeth can remove them.  

When pictures are shared with you, they appear in your Library under (surprise) Pictures shared with me. When a picture or album is shared, the contributors you've shared it with can see who created it because your name appears in the upper right corner near the share panel. Notice that in this example, the name set Account Settings is "Elizabeth Griscomb" she might also have used her married name, "Betsy Ross," "Aunt Betsy," or simply "Betsy." All that matters is that she's recognized by the people she's sharing with

Only members can upload pictures and use the Ponga face detection features to sort pictures by people. With your membership account, you put names to faces, and Ponga creates albums for you that include all of the pictures of the person you've named.

How to share a picture

Every member has the ability to share individual pictures or albums they've uploaded into their own account. Pictures and albums are shared exactly the same way. Tap on the Share button in the upper right corner of the picture or album to open the share panel.

There are subtle differences in the share panel between pictures and albums. The share panel for a Picture includes detail about which albums include the picture. Tap on Modify Album Share Settings to view the album share settings for each album that includes the picture. Album share panels just list of people with whom the album has been shared.

When you want to share a picture or an album, tap in the invite guests field and start typing the email address for your guest. If it's someone you've invited or been invited by, their name will appear as you start typing.

Include a Note

It's a great idea to include a note when you share your picture or album to provide your guests some context. To include a note, just tab over to the invite button when you finish entering the email address. A message area will appear. Type your message in this note space, and tap on Send Invite. Your invitation will be sent in your name from Ponga, and your guest's name will be added to the list of people the picture or album is shared with.

Quick Tips:

  • Your best practice is to include just a paragraph or so. Returns are not supported so your text will all roll into one and a lengthy block of text will be overlooked.
  • If there's something you want to call someone's attention to, make a selection around it and include what you do know. Then, copy the link to that selection. Paste that link into your note and the link will be clickable by your guests. (For more see "Ask a specific question" in tips.ponga.com

Notice that you have the opportunity to quickly and easily toggle the privilege level from "view" to "edit" in this list.  You can toggle this at any time. You can also remove anyone from the list of contributors at any time by just tapping the "x" in the row with their name.

You might, for example, invite your brother to contribute to the pictures you have of him. (Including those awkward you embarrassed him with at his wedding reception.) When you invite your brother to contribute to an album, it is still private, he's now added by private invitation only. You can privately invite as many contributors as you like to a picture or an album.

Share with a Bunch of People at the Same Time!

If you'd like to share a picture or album with a bunch of people at the same time, no problem. To share a picture with multiple people in one invitation, just enter each email address separated by a comma, then press the tab key (or press the button that appears), a space to enter a message will appear.


  1. Use a COMMA, not a SEMICOLON as is supported in some email systems to separate mail addresses
  2. If you want to re-send an invitation: delete (or revoke) the invitation first by tapping the red button next to the guest's name and email, then enter it again. They'll get a fresh invitation.

Unless you mention it in your note, those you invite will not know who else a picture was shared with. As a member, your guests will not see the list of people, nor the email addresses of the people a picture was shared with.

As the owner of the picture and member who added it to Ponga, only YOU can

  • modify the title and description
  • delete selections made by any guest
  • view the Face Details pages for the faces identified on the picture
  • remove pictures from albums you've shared

The difference between editing and viewing guests is that

  • only editing guests can add selections, move selections, and contribute content
  • viewing guests can see the content in all selections, but cannot contribute content, nor move selections.

Since both pictures and albums can be shared independently, there can be some complexity to the access privileges of contributors. Here are a few rules that make it easier to understand:

  • The list of contributors to an album is a superset of the contributors of all pictures in the album. (When you add a new picture to an album shared with others, you'll be asked to confirm the share settings.)
  • Edit privileges are stronger than viewing privileges. (If one picture is in two different albums and each album is shared with the same person but with Edit privileges on one and view privileges on the other, then the Edit privileges prevail.)

With the private invitation, neither viewing nor editing contributors can

  • see either the names or email addresses of other contributors
  • re-share the picture.
  • download the original image.

The private pictures or albums you share with contributors are viewable in the Shared with Me view in their Ponga account. This compiles all pictures shared with a contributor from all members across all albums. The albums shared with them also appear in their list of albums. Once invited, your contributors don't have to go hunting for a link. It's right there for them.

If you remove someone as a contributor, it disappears from their Shared with Me list. If they previously kept a link (using Notes, Notion, Evernote, or some other bookmarking app) they can follow the link but will only see a 404 Error suggesting that the picture isn't there. 🤫 They'll never know.

What happens when you share a picture

When you invite a guest to your picture or album, they get a beautifully formatted email that comes from you via Ponga. That's important because the guests you invite may very well not yet have Ponga accounts nor know what to expect.

The email includes instructions on what to expect, a thumbnail image of the picture you're sharing (if a picture), and any message you've included. Currently, albums do not include thumbnail images of pictures shared.

Don't have an account? Not a problem. If the people you're sharing with don't yet have a Ponga account, they just need to click on the "View on Ponga" button where they'll be taken to an account creation page where they can set up their Ponga guest account. Once in, they'll be taken straight into the library. Picture links, such as the one included here in the note with the email, will go directly to the picture or to a selection in the picture.

Top 4 best practices:

We've discovered a few best practices from sharing our own pictures and suggestions made by Ponga members.  

#1 Set expectations for your guests in your own email

#2 Curiosity is first. “Remember that time at Band Camp? I’ve got some pictures. Wanna see ‘em?”

#3 Don’t have their email address? Have them “Ask for an invite”

#4 Follow up

These simple tips are not much different from what you might do in inviting friends to a special party. For more, see our Tips blog with Best Practices for Privately Sharing Pictures Using Ponga

Keeping it in the family, keeping them honest

Privacy keeps honest people honest. Keep in mind that some people do inappropriate things. Sometimes they regret it. As the owner of a picture or album, you can not only remove guests, you can also remove any content any guest adds. Just click, confirm, and it's gone.

Keep our Usage Rules in mind too. Some content is simply inappropriate for this platform, regardless of who it is or isn't shared with.

Would you like to explore this picture of ours? Just drop us a note in live chat at left ⏎ and we'll get right on it.

Last updated:
January 24, 2023
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