If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me mention Pressgram. You might’ve heard of it several months ago during its Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $50,000 to allow entrepreneur John Saddington to devote his energy to building the app and services. Pressgram will be launching to the public very soon; smart photographers ought to pay attention to what Pressgram is about.
Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, and other services have allowed photographers of all sorts to easily capture and share photos on the go. But there’s a problem: some of the mainstream photo sites have reputations for photographer-unfriendly terms of service or are operated by companies with a history of shady business. Even the services that are friendly to photographers are still third-party services, out of the control of the photographers who publish work on their sites.
Meanwhile, WordPress keeps growing with wide adoption. We see more blogs and websites being built on WordPress than ever before, frequently being used for personal blogs or photography sites. Most folks who are serious about these sites are using the WordPress.org software on their own web hosting, giving the owner much more control over the site and its contents than on a social network.
The Solution: Pressgram
What if we had a social photo network that published photos to WordPress-powered websites? Soon, we will. That’s Pressgram.
I’ve been an alpha tester of Pressgram and I’ve watched it evolve to its current functional state. In some ways it’s much like Instagram, offering an iPhone app with a camera and some filters and the ability to import photos from the camera roll. From the app, you can post to Pressgram. You’ll have the usual sharing options to spread the image to Twitter or Facebook, but you can also share the image to your blog. I’ve posted a few photos over on my personal website using Pressgram and it’s working well.
When you share the image on your site and also to a social network, the link that’s shared goes to your website and not to a third-party service. Those clicks are your traffic… not traffic to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter’s photo hosting, or another third party.
The social component of the app works nearly identically to Instagram. You can follow other users, “like” photos, leave comments, and explore popular images. Optional push notifications can keep you informed of activity related to your images.
Pressgram will be launching soon. I hope you’ll join me there.