Step Aside, Flickr. Instagram is Replacing You.

Poor Flickr.

For years, photographers and amateur photographers had only one hub: Flickr. I also used to be addicted to Flickr and made many great friends on there. It’s a huge bummer they became stagnant and really hard to use. I don’t even remember the last time I logged in…  And I noticed more and more of my friends using Facebook as their main outlet for photographs.

Enter Instagram.

Now I didn’t understand Instagram either, until I actually created an account and started using it. And the more I use it, the more it’s clear, Instagram is the next social platform for photographers. There are already ridiculous amounts of insanely talented photographers on there. I can’t wait to see the community keep growing.

So what makes Instagram so great? Well:

  • discoverability with solid filtering. The noise to signal ratio is on. point.  From the popular page to following your immediate friend’s photos, to even seeing activities from your friends (what they liked, what they commented on, etc.) Reminds me of the FriendFeed friend of friend feature, but it’s filtered, so you can choose to look any time you want to and doesn’t clog your feed. (News -> Following)
  • community: interaction is pretty much like Flickr, where people can talk to each other without reservations. Plus, you can use handles, which is rare for newer sites these days. Part of the reason so many Asians are on there, to protect their identities.
  • shareability is seamless — such a smart implementation, perhaps the best out there.
  • MOBILE — it’s in all CAPs because that’s how important mobility will become. I’m excited to see how Instragram will keep iterating its product. And when the Android app comes out? I think the adoption will snowball, trickling down to the mass.

Hopefully, the Instagram team is working on an archiving system with option to store photos at higher resolutions. But I still stand by my statement from a few weeks back: “Finally get Instagram. It’s like Flickr (community and discovery), Myspace-Livejournal (hot girls posting self portraits) but way better.”

If you’d like to connect on Instagram, my user ID is ‘monagram’

Bonus: Check out these two photos from me and Christine. We were at the same place, sitting next to the other, drinking the same thing but the photo, well, take a look.  It was so neat when it popped up in our feeds — we both said WOW at the same time.

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Tuesday #nerdmusings

I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many brilliant people — even more so now than ever before. New York is in an interesting place, where there are tons of companies building products catering to the critical mass. The intersection of business minded teaming up with the technically savvy are more prevalent here, than in the Silicon Valley, and the problems they are solving aren’t ones created by the SV tech circle.

Which is a problem on its own.

A lot of successful companies solved a problem they created. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, even Amazon are almost all products and / or services we could’ve lived without, but now inevitables. Frankly, I am torn, as innovation comes from the technically brilliant, offering things we never knew we wanted, needed and now cannot live without, but where is the limit? How do we get over the Silicon Valley myopia?

The other day, I met with a company working on a product that blew me away (I’ll eventually share who and what) and we discussed in depth consumer behaviors, needs and desires. We talked about flash mob buying and agreed how we don’t see them having sustainable business models. I’ve repeated how Groupon, Living Social, et al.’s legacies are going to be economic dissertations or a Wharton case study.

We moved on to the topic of location based services and how we believe if done right -whatever right may be- mass adoption is highly likely.

But the question still remains: is there a way to elegantly introduce the habit of checking in? Or even initiating action via QR codes?

I’m excited to see who will solve that problem and how.
Just some quick thoughts on a rainy April Tuesday afternoon.

Bonus: Morgan Stanley’s Mobile Internet Report (summary) — pretty neat deck.