A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Apps

A new photo sharing service could be great for photography, but is it ultimately better than the ones that already exist?

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

The new photo sharing app, Glass, has been getting a lot of attention. One particular corner of the internet where it has received significant buzz is the Micro.blog community. The attention is both surprising and not surprising. It's not surprising because that community tends to be very tech literate and have a great curiosity for new apps and platforms, such as social networks, email tools, blogging services or note taking apps. A well made app like Glass with a user base that already seems to be passionate is bound to be a topic of discussion on the M.b. network of federated blogs. The enthusiasm is also expected because Micro.blog has quite a few very talented photographers that use the service.

What is surprising, though, is that Micro.blog already has a vibrant photo sharing community and an app that specifically supports it. People are already engaged in photo sharing and discussions that grow around that activity on Micro.blog.

In fact, Glass has adopted many of the same design principles that power Micro.blog. You might even call it "opinionated software." Matt Birchtree lists some of the elements of Glass in his post on the app, and I've pulled out the ones that match Micro.blog.

  • If you do want to find someone to follow, there is a whole other tab with a list of suggested accounts. These appear to be accounts the app makers like, not ones based on who you already follow.
  • There are basically no metrics in the app. You don't know how many people liked a photo, how many followers people have, and you can't even see how many followers you have! In short, this is not a popularity contest.
  • You can't even like a photo in the first place. The only interaction is to leave a comment. This makes it harder to show appreciation for the shots you like, but it also makes it feel more engaging since you find yourself trying to think of something to say to people. Why did you like it? Do you have a question about the gear used? It's very clever.
  • There are also no hashtags. This is actually something I hope they add in some form later, since finding types of photographers is always nice. Let's just lock it down maybe so we don't get 30 hashtags in every post like you have to do on Instagram.'

It almost seems like the plot of a movie where the protagonist searches for love, only to realize that they had it the whole time in someone who was already their best friend. It will be interesting to see how the Glass community grows and if it offers additional value to the folks already using Micro.blog.

I've included some samples of photos shared on Micro.blog, so that you can get a sense of the kind of exceptional output on the service.



Got my hair cut from a sweet, wise, bubbly lady called Yvonne. I’m sure we’ve all had confusing experiences in hairdressers. This time it was wonderfully smooth and fun. Spending time getting pampered was lovely too. Looking forward to finding my feminine side once more.

You can’t go to Seattle and not shoot the Space Needle. Shot this from our hotel terrace few streets down one evening. I love that you can zoom in and see people on the deck.

I had quite the hills are alive vibe even while shooting this picture.

Sk8er Boy

With liberty and justice for all. Looking out from Upstairs at Caroline. 🍸

Picking some music for the final stretch…

Day Two is done, Day Three is the one still missing.

Robert Rackley @frostedechoes