An interesting startup project posted over the weekend on KickStarter.com caught our attention today. The project revolves around the future creation of an image sharing app called Pressgram which would be built for an independent web and give users complete creative control over their images while allowing them to retain page views.
Atlanta’s John Saddington (formerly of Facebook and Instagram) heads the project, and posted his funding requirements Saturday on KickStarter, requesting a minimum of $50,000 in pledged funds by April 15th in order to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by August of this year. A complete breakdown of the Pressgram project can be found on the Pressgram Info & Funding Page.
What Is Pressgram?
In his own words, Saddington (pictured) states that Pressgram is functionally and philosophically different from other apps. “I want to build an independent publishing platform that isn’t beholden to strange and changing Privacy Policies, Terms of Service, or Licensing agreements under big-name publicly traded social networks for the users to get confused over.
Instead, I’m looking to combine my long-standing love with WordPress, the best open source publishing platform on the planet (it currently powers over 17% of the top 1MM websites) and my mobile device to create a new creative solution. In an over-simplified nutshell, it’s WordPress + iOS (iPhone) + Filtered Photos.”
The application will be 100% free to download and will work for WordPress.com and self-hosted websites. Connecting to WordPress will not be a requirement of the software, as future users will be able to add filters to images without posting them to a blog.
Pressgram Funding Status
Since Saturday, the Pressgram project has attracted 84 backers and over $14,000. Roughly half of the pledges so far have been in the $10 to $50 category. However, one backer has already pledged $10,000 toward the project.
If the minimum funding requirement of $50,000 is met by April 15th, John plans to allocate $30,000 of that toward core development of the minimum viable product. Another $3,000 is planned for data storage serving and hosting needs (which could be significantly higher or lower depending on the amount of users). Another $5,000 would be set aside for quality assurance and technical scaling, with another $5,000 for strategic development assistance.
There are more development opportunities for the project if it manages to eclipse its original goal. Those opportunities are listed by Saddington in the screenshot below.
Retaining Page Views
A big benefit of Pressgram would be that users can retain their page views rather than giving them away to sites such as Instagram. “You get to publish your images directly to your WordPress-powered blog when you want,” says Saddington. “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.
Think of all that traffic lost which might have helped you better monetize your blog or build that fledgling startup company that you’re trying so hard to build. This makes complete sense for a strategic online publisher, a business, an editorial/news blog, and others that need more control. Those are your pageviews so you should get to keep them. Besides, that’s one of the rewards for your content creation! No need to give them away to someone else. No need to line the pockets of another’s purse.” Users would not have to publish every image into their blog. They can simply save the image and it is stored in their profile.
The Pressgram concept could open a lot of eyes (and pocketbooks) in the industry as creative personnel look for extended rights and privacy of images and other content they have a direct hand in designing and ultimately creating. Only time will tell whether Saddington’s project becomes a reality and whether the community as a whole will embrace the new software, but the idea of having a higher degree of control over one’s content isn’t likely going away.