Why Instagram works

There are many photo editing apps and many offer some kind of sharing.

Yet Instagram (see my previous post) is way ahead of the pack in popularity and buzz. This fantastic article goes into why. My favourite aspect is about how it deliberately limits its functionality. you can only load one image at a time. Imagine how natural it would seem to add many at once. But that would detract from the product’s simplicity and delight.

Design is finished not when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.

A picture is worth 140 characters

I’ve said before that one of my favourite tricks in developing new products is simply to break one rule – take a successful formula and change just one thing.

Instagr.am does just that – it’s the Twitter model of easy microblogging, but based around photos rather than text and it seems to be catching fire by enabling people to broadcast their creativity to friends and strangers in a fast and customisable way.

There’s a need for this. Whereas Facebook’s blithely happy environment pulls towards the mainstream, emerging services such as Instagr.am skew towards the thoughtful and creative. And there’s a place for that.

Check-ins for TV – the meme keeps growing

Miso is kinda like Foursquare for TV – you check-in to programmes you’re watching.

It might be easy to dismiss Miso as derivative, but I think it’s got a good chance of catching on (I’ve talked about Real-time watercooler moments and social tv before).

Whereas “Bob just checked in to North Acton station” is so what, “Bob just watched Madmen episode 4×10 can elicit real interest for a conversation – “Ooh what did you think of the bit where…?”

I suspect we’ll see a slew of other non-location check ins – sports games? fashions? video games? books? I can imagine “Dave just checked into The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” being a basis for a conversation.

One of my favourite NPD tricks is Break One Rule – take a successful formula and change one thing. I think Miso does this well.