Photo-sharing apps are a dime a dozen across mobile platforms, with the latest contender, called instafocus, asking for backing on Kickstarter.
If there was ever an app that popularised social photo-sharing, it was Instagram. The retro-tinged filters and simple presentation of photos in a stream did much to inspire a new generation of mobile photographers.
It seems that even the king of photo-sharing can fall from grace. Instagram landed itself in hot water towards the end of 2012 with a proposed change to its terms of service. The new terms would have granted Instagram a license to use photos for advertising purposes, among other changes. While the terms were quickly reverted, the damage had been done.
Other apps, such as EyeEm, 500px and even Flickr's new mobile presence, have popped up as viable alternatives. With a glut of photo-taking and sharing apps on the market, is there room for another contender?
The team behind instafocus (intended lower case) think so. The app first began as a way to tap into the Instagram API and showcase a range of the best photographs on the platform.
Since restrictions to the Instagram API have cropped up, instafocus is looking to take on a life of its own as a standalone app. Asking for a base of US$45,000 on Kickstarter, users will get access to the new sharing service, which also seeks to "showcase beautiful photography". Unlike Instagram, though, there are no photo filters (yet).
The catch is that instafocus will use a subscription model, asking users to pay US$2 per month for access to the service. Ongoing financial support from its users will ensure that the project fulfils its key promise: "we'll never sell out to another company — ever."
A user-funded app means that the likelihood of succumbing to advertising and sharing user data with third-parties is slim. That said, a subscription model really needs some key players to lure new users. Without high-profile photographers on board, or even photo filters, attracting more subscribers may be difficult — especially when services like Instagram, Flickr et al have such strong existing social ties to their respective platforms.
Would you pay for a photo-sharing app like instafocus?