There’s a big chance you’ve seen someone posting a photo they took with Instagram to Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, or a combination of any of these. Heck, you probably downloaded the app on your iPhone and snapped at least some photos with it and browsed photos uploaded by contacts.
It’s a great app. A new social network, best comparable with Twitter for photos, born overnight. It’s still suffering some growing pains (you can’t share someone else’s photo or manage your uploads online), but I’m sure they’ll improve their service over the couple of months.
But I stopped using it for 2 reasons, neither of which the founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger can do anything about.
First off: I just don’t have the time anymore to pull up the app once a day. I’m always busy doing what often seems like a dozen things at the same time, and lately (with the wedding and more coming up, more about that later) it’s even worse. I’m that kind of person who likes to read all tweets, even those posted while I was asleep. Same goes for RSS, Flickr, Tumblr and all the Campfire windows I have open all day. So I decided to cut down on distractions and refocus on the work that needs to be finished before Gwen and I leave for our honeymoon to Egypt (booyah!). So far, Tumblr and Instagram have been axed. Both great services with very interesting content generated by their users.
Second reason I quit Instagram is people can cross-post photos and will do so to the extreme. I used to see the same photos 5 times: Instagram itself, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. Ugh. Cool photo bro, but, ehm, I think I’ve seen it before. It made me unfollow people on Flickr and Tumblr, ignore links they post on Twitter, or hide them on Facebook, missing out on the other great stuff they post.
I didn’t quit Instagram because of the filters people apply to the photos. It’s a matter of taste, and I’m still surprised by the character a simple filter can add to a photo snapped with a mobile phone. In 10 years we’ll look back at apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic and chuckle. “What were we thinking?”