A few months ago, I deleted both my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Facebook was pretty easy; there wasn’t much happening on there that mattered to me. Most of my remaining family was busy resharing important things like Minion memes.
Instagram was a little more tough. Most of the time, I’m the designated picture-taker of the group, and I enjoyed sharing my photography. Not to mention, I had a lot of friends still using it, and I enjoy seeing what’s going on in their lives.
Regrettably, Facebook owns Instagram, and in just the past three months, I’ve read countless stories about how Facebook is doing some incredibly creepy things, how they’ve exploited kids for money, how Facebook abused Apple’s enterprise developer certificates, and how Walt Mossberg, an excellent and highly respected journalist in technology, decided to quit Facebook feeling that his values and the company’s policies didn’t align.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg, really. We haven’t even gotten into how Facebook’s negligence has contributed to the spreading of misinformation, how their platform has become a breeding ground for hate groups, and that their default privacy settings are geared to giving them the most amount of information possible to sell ads to you.
My personal moral and ethical beliefs aside, their business wasn’t built to care about any of these things. Unfortunately, Facebook’s business model depends on being able to sell ads to you, which in turn means that they need to be able to mine every bit of data they can.
I want to try something different.
I’m starting a company called Bokeh. Bokeh is an Instagram alternative with no ads, a chronological timeline, and where sharing is private by default.
That last one means that your photos are only shared with the people you want to share with. If that means you have a completely public profile, great! If instead you just want to share with a few friends and select family members, that’s great too.
Bokeh will be financially incentivized—by charging a small monthly or yearly fee—to keep the minimal data we request from you secure, to never interfere with your timeline, and to never employ the social engineering tactics these companies use so that you stay in the app longer.
If you’d like to stay in the loop and possibly participate in the beta, head over to the landing page and get on the email list. And if you feel this idea resonates with you, I would really appreciate your help in getting the word out.