Heard about the new Glass photo app?
Glass is a sexy new photography app and social network that just launched for the iPhone, and I’m rather impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Find out more about what it does well, how it’s attractive compared to the current state of Instagram and Flickr, and some thoughts on how it might fit into the market.
Update: Three weeks later, it turns out I’m surprised by what I’m missing.
Here’s an auto-generated transcript of the video:
As Instagram abandons photographers, Glass photo shows potential to become what Flickr could have been.
Aaron here from techphotoguy.com and I’m excited to share some thoughts on a hot new photography app and social network with a lot of promise. If modern photography and technology is your deal be sure to punch that subscribe button down below and turn on the notification bell so that you don’t miss out on the next big thing.
Glass is a sexy new photo app and social network that’s coming onto the scene at a great time for photographers. About a month ago Instagram’s Adam Mosseri posted a video where he said among other things in his words “we are no longer a photo sharing app” [more on that here] and if you’re like me and you really appreciate still photography this was a bit of a disappointment to to say the least. I wasn’t really surprised by the announcement because the signs had been there for a while but Instagram’s shift to focus on video content to try and compete with TikTok and YouTube means that as photographers there’s not a modern well-designed mainstream service that’s focused on a great experience about photography and isn’t about algorithm-based advertising sales.
Glass is about serious photographers sharing their work with other photographers. There are no ads on Glass. There’s no algorithm. Your main screen in the app is a reverse chronological timeline of photos that have been posted by the people that you’re following. You see your photos that your friends shared based on when they shared them and speaking of that view I love the design of Glass. There’s no extra junk around the photos they use the full width and height of your phone screen to put that photography front and center the only other thing you see on the screen is a small floating set of icons near the bottom to help you navigate throughout the application.
Glass is about photography and quality interactions. When you tap to zoom on a photo you can scroll around and check things out up close. The app displays EXIF data if it’s present in the images. Oh and there’s there’s no likes; there’s no hearts; there’s no favorites. You can leave a comment and that’s the only way that you interact with others’ photography. It remains to be seen whether folks embrace this but you know there’s something to be said for the fact that if you really want to show your appreciation for an image you can type in a little comment. I mean it doesn’t have to be a long comment but you’ve got to do something that’s more than just the single tap like of Instagram or some other applications.
As i look at Glass’s interface i can’t help but wonder what Flickr could have become if they had an awesome modern mobile application. For whatever reason none of Flickr’s various owners over the years have prioritized modernizing that mobile app and unfortunately it still looks substantially the same way that it did when it was released which is that it looks like the early 2000s website design of Flickr’s service except on your phone.
So this all sounds great we’ve got a modern design that emphasizes photography. We don’t have to view advertising and we only see the photos from our friends in the order that they were posted. Is there a catch? Are there some downsides? Well there’s one big thing that sets Glass apart from most social photo applications and that’s that it’s a paid service. There’s a two week free trial to check it out but after that you have to pay. The planned pricing at this point is 4.99 a month or 49.99 a year and they’re offering a launch pricing right now of 29.99 for the year it’s unclear to me whether that’s an ongoing price or just the first year but either way I signed up to check it out. Software developers and servers aren’t free and I feel like this is a reasonable price for someone who’s serious into photography to get this sort of an experience without the algorithm, without the ads, without their data being sold in order to fund the program. In being a paid service the folks on Glass have invested in their photography enough to feel that it’s worth spending the money. I’m optimistic that this means the quality of the images on the service is going to remain high and it won’t be somewhere that folks just casually go to you know dump their photos from a night of partying with their friends.
The other big thing to know about Glass is that at least for the foreseeable future it is iPhone only. As I understand it there’s only three folks behind this bootstrapped company and they don’t have the Android expertise right now. As a paid service that could be a challenge. Market data repeatedly shows that iPhone users are are willing to pay for apps and services more than Android folks are so if they do expand into the Android world I hope that that doesn’t come as a detriment and that they’re able to make that viable from a financial standpoint. In the meantime if you don’t lose use an iPhone you are out of luck.
So at this point you can get the app through the the app store i’ll drop the link below. At launch they’re slowly rolling things out; there’s an invite wait list system. But things are moving pretty quickly and it should be available to everyone soon. If you’re on the service leave your username down below and i would love to check out your work. If you want to follow me I’m techphotoguy and I’d love to connect. Leave a comment below this video: I’m curious what you think… your first impressions of Glass whether you’ve used it or not. What do you think? Are you willing to pay a few dollars a month for an ad-free photography network that focuses on photography, or is that going to be a barrier to you getting into it. Once again hit that subscribe button down below and I’ll be back at you again with another video soon. Talk to you later.