New “photographer-centric” photo-sharing app, Glass

WD1984

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There’s a new photo-sharing app in town that you can read about here. Tl;dr: Glass wishes to fill the mobile-first photo-sharing void that Instagram left when it recently announced that it is no longer just a photo app. Glass claims it is photographer-centric by providing EXIF data. Glass is subscription-based asking users to pay $4.99 a month or $49 a year ($29 for a limited time). It aims to minimize follower counts and likes.

Thoughts on this? Prefer to just stick with Flickr? Do you welcome a new platform for photographers? Would you ever pay a fee simply for access to a platform to share and consume photos?
 

melanieylang

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While I'm not likely to pay to use a photo sharing service, the frequency of ads in my instagram feed has put me off browsing it, as it's too time consuming.

But it appears to be for iPhone users only at this stage, so it's irrelevant to me for now.
 

WD1984

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I, too, am willing to pay a sub fee to avoid ads and crazy algorithms so long as the service is of value. I tried Glass for 2 weeks and it is so bare-bones and basic that I couldn’t imagine paying any sum of money for it. I think you need to demonstrate value first, then ask for money later. $5 a month is quite steep too.
 

Tili

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They main thing with Instagram is that it's free, this way it has just an insane amount of users and reach.

If you have paid photography only app, with a bunch of other photographers. Isn't that just preaching to the choir? How exactly will you build an audience like people can do in twitter/youtube/insta?
 

WD1984

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They main thing with Instagram is that it's free, this way it has just an insane amount of users and reach.

If you have paid photography only app, with a bunch of other photographers. Isn't that just preaching to the choir? How exactly will you build an audience like people can do in twitter/youtube/insta?
Yes, I think this is a very fair point. The barrier to entry is quite high and will be a major limiting factor in adoption and usage.
 
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Also, I'd like to point out that VSCO has a photo sharing platform with lots of users, already minimizes follower counts and doesn't have likes, AND has very powerful mobile editing including RAW editing, and costs $20 a year, and you can use it entirely for free, as long as you don't need the majority of their filters.
 

comment23

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How exactly will you build an audience like people can do in twitter/youtube/insta?
I believe the point is less about building an audience and more about being part of a community.

It does seem overpriced though. It would be more appealing if there was a lower tier perhaps with less features, although at present there are very few features to put to this purpose.
 

doady

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The social networking aspect of Flickr has declined a lot, but no doubt it's still better connected and more vibrant as a community than this. Plus, it's free and fully functional on any device including a Windows desktop. Likewise, I don't have problems finding other photographers on Instagram with my Android tablet. Paying for $5/month to "reach" people with an iPhone is just a waste. I pay less than that for my portfolio website. You really want to connect with other people, do it face to face at an actual gallery or publish a book or something. Strangers seeing your work on the internet doesn't mean anything.
 

The Grumpy Snapper

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I predicted several years ago that at some point photographer's would be expected to pay publishers/editors to use their photos. This is another step in that direction.
 

DeeJayK

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Launching something like this as an iOS-only app shows me that the folks behind it are more interested in "image" than in building a broad community.

- K
 
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The social networking aspect of Flickr has declined a lot, but no doubt it's still better connected and more vibrant as a community than this. Plus, it's free and fully functional on any device including a Windows desktop. Likewise, I don't have problems finding other photographers on Instagram with my Android tablet. Paying for $5/month to "reach" people with an iPhone is just a waste. I pay less than that for my portfolio website. You really want to connect with other people, do it face to face at an actual gallery or publish a book or something. Strangers seeing your work on the internet doesn't mean anything.
Flickr is my chosen "platform" if you want to call it that. I agree that it may not be a powerhouse on the community front (generally the discussions feature is underutilized if not totally ignored), but it seems much more honest as a network to make photographers aware of one another. And it has zero pretentiousness. Instagram has a way of pulling the most superficial "popularity photographers" out of Flickr and into its ecosystem, or else they just cross-post everything in both places (but are easily ignored).

Biggest and best thing Flickr offers? Your feed, which shows you content from groups you're a part of and people you follow, actually only shows you content from those sources. That's huge, in a world where it's normal for completely irrelevant or unwanted content to worm its way into all your other feeds.

I say we don't give this newcomer the time of day till they prove that they aren't going to meddle with pernicious algorithms and the like in a bid to make their platform more popular and construct more of a business model. Maybe the high cost means they won't? But I suspect it's going to quickly die.
 

gnarlydog australia

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While I'm not likely to pay to use a photo sharing service, the frequency of ads in my instagram feed has put me off browsing it, as it's too time consuming.

But it appears to be for iPhone users only at this stage, so it's irrelevant to me for now.
the bigger question: is browsing on Instacrap even worth it, from a photographers perspective.
The display is dismally tiny, let alone even worse if viewed on the phone :(

We spend thousands of $ on equipment that might produced better images than phones, obsess over sharpness of lenses and loose sleep about "noise" on our sensors, to then lower ourselves to the point to post our work on a "postage-stamp" display platform?
Ah, the irony of it all :laugh1:
 

John King

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While I have an Instagram account, it has become all but derelict since Faecesbook took it over.

I've run my own web site since about 2006/7. It might not be fancy, but I can upload anything I like to it, at any size and quality. It costs me about AUD$200 a year for hosting up to five domain names, and pretty well unlimited everything else.

Originally hosted by Web City, but they sold out to Vodien recently (couple of years ago now). Web City's originally excellent service had gone belly up over the last few years, so I'm pleased to report that Vodien's customer service has been excellent so far.
 

melanieylang

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The display is dismally tiny, let alone even worse if viewed on the
True, although I actually find it more frustrating to view it on a computer! And as I do nearly all my editing on my smartphone (which is perhaps not something to be proud of), I'm quite happy browsing my instagram feed on a small device.
 

Ghostbuggy

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I don't own any Apple devices, so since it's for iOS only, I can't really have a look at it. However if they really are charging 4,99$ per month, I am wondering what kind of service they are trying to be or who they want to compete with. For sure not Instagram... in my opinion one of the key factors of Instagram's popularity is still the fact it is essentially free, data collecting and ads aside. This of course attracts a lot of casual users, who aren't really photographers at all and caters to an (ex-)photo-centric experience pretty much everyone can share and participate. With such a high price-tag, Glass simply isn't able to catch that casual audience, nobody is willing to pay such a high price.

Which makes it an alternative photo service to competitors like Flickr, Smugmug, 500px and so on, those however mostly cater to photographers, be it professionals, amateurs or enthusiasts alike, not the typical "snapping" casual shooters.

I'm still successfully resisting Instagram and am one of the five persons on this planet who doesn't have an Instagram (or Facebook) account. But in order to fill any void left by Instagram, Glass has to try different ways, a premium-paid service competes with other websites, but won't lure any photo enthusiasts away from the 'gram.
 

doady

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Even if it is a paid service, this new app is still about networking, little in common with sites like Smugmug and Zenfolio, which are for photographers to create personal/portfolio/gallery websites, which can be viewed in any web browser, not just one app in one OS. Smugmug and Zenfolio are not networks, they have more in common with Squarespace than with Instagram, Flickr, or 500px. If I never link to my Zenfolio website here or anywhere else, no one will ever find it and see the photos and galleries I have on it. When I upload something to Instagram and Flickr, people are more likely to see it, even if I don't try to get people to see it.

The thing with Instagram is it was never meant to be a "photographer-centric" app. It never ever even pretended to be for serious photographers, let alone ever actually tried to be. Like, it only started allowing non-square aspect ratio photos later? Instagram is still being Instagram, as far as I can see. Photographers are the only ones who want to change it into something it is not, and they always have been. They are still searching for a solution to a non-existent problem, and this Glass and $5/month is just another example.
 

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