I was one of the earliest adopters of Instagram. I saw the genius of it from the very beginning. I had over 2,000 photos in it before I started to realize that my precious images were not my own. When Facebook purchased it, I grew even more concerned. It is no secret that photos have an emotional and personal value to each of us. This is why I decided to shy away from Instagram and use a paid service instead.
I backed up Pressgram on Kickstarter with the firm conviction that the service was different. I am a huge believer in the user owning the rights to their data/content. John Saddington (Pressgram Developer) believes this as well. He has made this the foundation of the application. Put it simply… he had me at hello.
What I like
Pressgram is a beautiful app. I kept an eye at the development of the app and I was one of the few that didn’t like the original design, including the original logo. When the developer redesigned the app for iOS, including the logo, I was relieved. The app is very pretty. A very flat interface that pairs well with the dark gray background. I have to say, the Mustardly color paired with white text on dark background gives the app a very unique visual appeal.
The app is also very easy. There’s nothing that makes you scratch your head in confusion. A simple camera icon to take a photo, a share button to share your images on FB and Twitter. A slide out drawer to modify settings, see your friends and an ever helpful search bar. Easy, simple, perfect!
Of course, the cherry on top is the actual foundation of the app. Each picture I take is mine. I don’t have to worry about sharing ownership of my content with any service. Also, the app is designed to talk to your WordPress blog. Just enter your blog credentials on the settings and you’re good to go. This adds a level of personal ownership of your images. One where your images are stored on your own hosted WordPress blog.
What I didn’t like
There’s no mistaken that the inspiration of Pressgram is Instagram. To put it bluntly, the app follows the steps of Instagram. Square photos, commenting, sharing, look, feel. It’s all very similar. There are dozens of apps that have followed this formula. I understand why this is so. It has been a gold mine for Instagram, but I would have loved to seen some innovation here.
I have also grown tired of square photos. I understood the appeal two years ago, but today, I no longer want to crop my images into square format. Every time I look at a square photo, I’m asking myself what’s missing. Square cropping puts blinders on your images. It’s like those leather flaps attached to a horse’s bridle to curtail side vision. It’s just not my thing anymore.
To buy or not to buy
Pressgram is free, so there is no question that the price of admission is easy. I think that most people who are fans of Instagram will do their images a favor by switching to Pressgram. You want to keep ownership of your photos. Yes, even if it’s one of your coffee and your biscuit. Also, sharing your photos on your WordPress blog is a neat feature, but one that I’m not particularly in love with. For one, I use Squarespace, so this has zero value to me. Second, I see no real desire to host a bunch of blog entries with images. To me, blogs are to write, not to share images with two sentence entries.
There are a few things that I think make or break the app. One, if you use Instagram and you appreciate ownership of your photos, you should go download Pressgram right now! This alone is worth downloading the app. If you also feel the need to share your images on your WordPress blog, you can do so as well, but I don’t see this as a strong reason to do so. However, if you have very little regard for your images, and you just want to share photos without caring about ownership, there is no real reason to switch.
I will not be using Pressgram for my everyday photographic needs. As I stated before, I am tired of square images. I am however a huge fan of ownership of my content. Though I am not the target audience due to my reasons here, I highly encourage those who are, to give Pressgram a shot. It really is a very nicely designed app with a great story and a bit of a rebel’s cause to free your images from the bondage of hungry corporate wolves.