Yeah, that surprised me too.
You see, when i think of a “picture platform” i think of sites like Flickr. Go to flickr.com and feel free to waste an hour just looking at pictures. There are billions. Heck, there’s even a page that shows photos that the community feels are interesting. What’s more, you don’t even have to have an account. That’s really important. It means that anyone can view your photos because you’re sharing them with the world.
That’s kinda what photo sharing means to me.
Now, feel free to go to sites like instagram.com and do the same thing. Oh, wait, you can’t. You have to download their app, create an account and find people who take good photos before you can see them. Well, at least there’s facebook, right? Let me do a search for photos on facebook and… oh. Pretty much the same thing. i mean, i can do a search on google for facebook images, i suppose, but that’s not really useful. Even if i were publish a portfolio of photos that were free to use, you wouldn’t be able to find them unless you knew i shared them and had a Facebook account.
See, this is where i say that both of these services are blackholes. They suck information in, but you’re not really expected to get anything back out. Indeed, one could think of these services a bit like religions (albeit, not the better portions thereof):
- You can’t do anything unless you’re a member.
- Members are always trying to convert the “unfaithful”.
- There are aspects that are accepted without proof.
- One community may use them in a way that is quite different than another.
- Changes are met with cries of “Heresy”!
These are walled gardens and you’re not allowed in unless you genuflect. For all i know, both of these companies are making up numbers and statistics because there’s no way for you to know otherwise.
You know what? Sure thing. i’ve also got an amazing platform with zillions of photos loaded up! Why here’s frequent visitor Max Foucault (who is absolutely not a name i made from hitting random twice on wikiquotes) talking about how wonderful the service is:
[It’s] fantastic! Couldn’t live without it. In fact i wouldn’t exist if it didn’t!
And look here’s a photo from him that is in no way two images i grabbed off of pinterest and applied random filters to:
Don’t believe me? That’s because you’re not part of the exclusive set of pre-alpha invitees and my crack team of imaginary developers, and there’s no way for you to prove otherwise.
What’s more, i’ll even take .01% of what was offered for Instagram, because i believe
in taking complete advantage of suckers that the service is such a benefit to humanity.
Isn’t that right, noted Chinese Blogger Xū Rén:
Yes! Your service is the only one i use in China with all my Chinese friends who are Chinese!
Odd that he didn’t write that out.