Make Your Photos Yours With Pressgram

It’s like Instagram but for WordPress and you get to keep 100 per cent ownership of your images. And it’s finally hit the Apple App Store.

John Saddington’s baby Pressgram is now available to download for free.

Pressgram
Pressgram allows you to publish photos directly to your WordPress website.

The co-founder of the now defunct 8BIT, the company behind the Standard theme, announced the photo sharing app’s arrival this morning, just a day after the one year anniversary of the program’s conception.

According to Pressgram’s Kickstarter page, the app is like Instagram in functionality but differs is in its philosophy.

“You won’t have to ‘license’ your photos from the app or the company – they are yours forever and you’ll never see them anywhere else except your own profile and blog.”

In other words, your photos are your photos, not some corporation’s. Pressgram is a picture publishing platform where you keep ownership of your creative content, something lacking with popular social media sites.

The idea is that with Pressgram, you can link it with your WordPress (self-hosted or WordPress.com) site. Photos you take with the app can be filtered and uploaded to your site or just kept on your smartphone without being published.

As Saddington says, “You get to publish your images directly to your WordPress-powered blog when you want.” He hopes to change the way people share their photos.

“This means that when you share them through your favorite social network (I really like Twitter) it’ll send your network and your friends to your own blog instead of yet another landing page where the corporate hounds are monetizing your traffic,” he writes.

First Impressions

I downloaded the app and tried to create a new account with my email address… and it immediately froze. Not a great start. So I quit the app and tried to log in again, this time successfully with my Facebook account.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one experiencing issues. The app’s popularity is already off to a flying start.

Pressgram has a beautiful, flat design and includes 11 photo filters as well as the ability to rotate images, add frames, add blur and enhance the light in the image. Like Instagram, you can choose to share your images on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow friends who have a Pressgram account and comment and “Like” their photos.

I took a few images and tried different filters and effects. The app is quick and easy to use, and not much of a learning curve if you’re familiar with Instagram. It’s also easy enough to link to a WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress account and publish your images directly to your blog.

Pressgram didn’t always have a flat design. It’s taken Saddington five Apple App Store rejections to get Pressgram approved. The logo is very different from the original, but I love the flat and modern look, which is in keeping with the direction Apple is taking with the upcoming release of iOS 7.

Pressgram’s Beginnings

The story goes that Saddington quit Facebook and Instagram last year because he didn’t agree with their privacy or licensing terms, but he still wanted an app he could use to filter photos and share with family and friends on his WordPress-powered blog.

So last October he began working on the app in his spare time to “scratch his own itch.” In March he took to Kickstarter to raise the $50,000 he needed to speed up development of the app and get it done.

A total of 458 people backed his Kickstarter campaign, pledging $56,500 over 30 days from March 16.

Saddington said in an interview with me a few weeks back when he first submitted Pressgram for Apple App Store approval that the support had not only felt great but had also been functional.

“I’ve had 30 active alpha/beta/unit testers in the mix providing incredible feedback on what has worked and what hasn’t in a variety of different scenarios,” he said.

“I’ve been able to squash more than a few bugs as a result of their work! So that’s been an important part of the overall development and product launch as a whole.

Pressgram photo
My first photo using Pressgram.

“But the bigger picture is simply this: This app is a community-powered app driven by people’s love for sharing images and publishing stories about them. Without them there wouldn’t be nearly as much interest as we’ve gotten and it would be a fairly ‘boring’ network. Even the small tribe that we’ve created internally and through our Launch Team has been fantastic!”

For now, Pressgram is only out for iOS but there are plans to eventually make it available on other devices.

What’s next?

Saddington said it was great to have Pressgram finally finished and released to the public, but there was still more work to be done.

“It feels great, but to be honest the work has really just begun as it’s now time to work with the community, gain feedback, and fix any of the bugs that the users find within the application,” he said.

“No product is perfect right out of the gate so I’m anticipating a ton of user data that’s going to be ordered and prioritized for development.

“Not only that but iOS 7 is right around the corner and I’ve already begun thinking and planning around how to make sure the application is not only compatible with iOS 7 but leverages some of the neat and new native features that are available to developers and the end-users.

“My goal is to create a near-seamless experience for the user (and some other neat surprise features as well). More development? Yes! Work is never done.”

More specially, he wants wants the app to succeed by being listed in the App Store’s  “New and Noteworthy,” become “App of the Week”, be listed in the “What’s Hot” section and become a Top 10 Free App.

To achieve this, he wants to reach:

  • 100,000 users in 30 days
  • Hit 1,000,000 in-app Likes
  • Capture 1,000,000 Images by our community
  • Share 1,000,000 times to WordPress via the app

They are definitely big goals, but Saddington has proved that when he sets his mind to something he doesn’t give up easily.

Check out the Pressgram websitePressgram blog or Twitter account for all the latest updates.

Have you tried Pressgram? Tell us what you think about it in the comments below.