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Pressgram: Photo Sharing for the People

John Saddington combines love of WordPress, filtered photos in new IOS app

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series looking at how John Saddington’s WordPress-focused app, Pressgram, was created. Part 2 is Here.]

Pressgram DemoWhen photo-sharing company Instagram changed the wording in its Terms of Service agreement, many people were upset. And rightfully so. The new wording seemed to say that Instagram owns any content you post to it. The company can do what it wants with your photos, when it wants, and they reserve the right to sell your content to anyone for money that you get no part of.

Sounds like a great deal, right?

In December, 2012, coming off its recent $1 billion (in cash and stock options) purchase by Facebook, it appeared that Instagram — a service based around building a community that loves sharing photos — was slapping its community in the face all in the name of profit and advertising cash.

True, Instagram and Facebook did quickly reverse their stance after they suffered the Internet’s unbridled rage — they reverted back to the words of the old TOS — but the damage had already been done. Many people didn't want to blindly trust “The Man” with their digital content anymore.

The outrage against Instagram (and Facebook) was instant and widespread. But what’s the average person to do? Either you use the service and go along with the new Draconian company policies, apparently giving up rights to all of your content, or you suck it up, and cancel your accounts. And for some, canceling a social media account is harder than breaking up with a real person.

The average person really didn’t have an option.

Enter John Saddington. Not your average Instagram user.

 

So long, Instagram

John Saddington pull boxJohn Saddington, a noted WordPress blogger, was an early adopter of the form. WordPress is his medium of choice, so it comes as no surprise that it would feature so centrally to how he would create something new.

“I love WordPress because it has historically supplied me with everything that I need to express myself digitally on the web,” Saddington told Managed.com. “It started with just writing and then expanded into freelance design and development. Then I had the chance to build an entire business around it (which was recently acquired) as well as successful digital magazines and editorial [content] … Seriously, my life for the past decade has revolved around this open-source technology and I have much to be grateful for!”

And while Saddington’s love for WordPress and blogging has remained strong, his respect for other social media empires began to wane in the fall of 2012.

On August 30, 2012, Saddington had had enough of Facebook. He did something many people would blanch at: He canceled his account. Less than two months later he had enough of Instagram, too, and canceled that account, as well. “For personal and philosophical reasons it was time to leave,” Saddington wrote.

There were filtered-photo app other options out there, but nothing that hit all the right notes for Saddington. Nothing that promised they wouldn’t take the route of claiming and selling their user’s content, too. So for a man who made his living designing WordPress themes and sites, it seemed only natural that he step in and create his own app. Something that would replace Instagram for him, but also work seamlessly with the blogging site he loves so much, WordPress.

Thus the inception for Pressgram was born.

 

Pressgram: An idea forms

PQ - Managed - Pressgram Dim bar“In a dimly-lit Cuban-Mexican joint I drafted out an application that would satisfy my desire for digital publishing and filtered photos. No obvious solution emerged that I was satisfied with,” Saddington wrote on Pressgram’s official site.

Pressgram would fill a void for Saddington. He would once again have an outlet for his love of filtered photos and digital publishing. But, more importantly, he wanted to create something for the community, something that would benefit WordPress users and content creators as a whole.

Especially in the light of the recent Draconian Terms of Use agreements that Instagram was foisting on its users (“All your content, are belong to us!”), Saddington thought of a crazy idea: What if, instead of trying to keep all of the potential web traffic for himself (as others were doing), he would design the app to help increase the traffic of the user?

So to get the community involved, he turned to Kickstarter.

[Part 2: Pressgram: From Kickstarter to Launch]

 


 

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part feature examining how John Saddington went up against social media powerhouses Instagram and Facebook to create his new filtered-photo app, Pressgram. Part 2 is Here.]

 

Instagram, Facebook, and the Instagram logo are owned by Facebook [FB].
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool maintained by WordPress Foundation.
WordPress.com is owned by Automattic, Inc. [Automattic].
iOS6 and iOS7 are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. [AAPL].
Pressgram and the Pressgram logo are owned by John Saddington [John.do], and used here with permission [Pressgram].

 

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