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Discussion on: Introducing ProGram: An Open-Source, Self-Hosted Instagram

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hamatti profile image
Juha-Matti Santala

Congrats on launching a great product!

The project looks nice and I do agree that the monopoly that the large tech giants are building is alarming. However, I think there's one aspect for the motivation to use Instagram that you're kind of missing:

Discoverability

It's not just a dopamine rush or social validation that drives people to use these social platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, or even DEV) but the fact that other people are there. I share pictures of my life on Instagram because I know that my friends and my family use it and so I can share my pics to them on one click and I can see what they are doing in their lives on a scroll of the front page.

The usefulness of social media is only as weak or strong as the amount of people in your social circles using them.

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utkarsh profile image
Utkarsh Talwar

I agree, Juha. But the key difference here is that we don't want it to be a full-fledged social media profile. We just wanted it to be a snapshot of your life with an aesthetic similar to Instagram. Hence, no social features, at least for now. BUT... depending on the usage, we might just add them in the future. And if you feel like helping us build new features, it's highly encouraged!

In any case, thanks for your thoughts!

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hamatti profile image
Juha-Matti Santala

Yeah, I totally get that. But in your post, you do present ProGram as a self-hosted alternative to Instagram and what's basically keeping me from jumping on board with that is that people wouldn't really see those pictures and what's going on in my life.

I would be back in situation where I send my friends and family a message of "Hey, I posted new photos, go take a look" instead of them seeing that I have from the app that they are already using.

I have no objection to this alternative, I welcome it with open arms and it's wonderful to have options. I just wanted to highlight that in your list of things why people stick to existing social medias, the discoverability is the biggest factor in my books and the reason why I'm not abandoning those platforms.

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matthieu_rolland profile image
Matthieu Rolland

It would be awesome if besides pictures, proGram would also make it possible to store a file or expose an API with a list of other proGram users one follows, then making it possible to have some discoverability features without a centralised platform.
Some sort of social oriented API, but decentralised. That would be very indieweb compatible.

This is much easier said than done I admit haha. Kudos for what you did so far anyway, I'll definitely check it out when I'm home !