Even though the name Extragram sounds very similar to Instagram, don’t mistake it for the same company. Extragram is a third party web-based application that uses Instagram’s API (Application Programing Interface) to access your own Instagram photos once you log onto the Extragram website. This site is so new that my virus software hasn’t completed a review of it yet so click at your own risk, but my computer did not seem to have any apparent issues upon visiting the site.
Extragram is not the only website to bring you your Instagram photos on your desktop. There are many other sites that use the same API of Instagram such as Instagrid, Webstagram, and Gramfeed. I would highly encourage you to check out these other websites and compare them to the mobile device. All of these web-based viewers allow the user to view photos of the people they follow as well as the ability to like or comment on a photo, with the ease of the desktop and desktop keyboard. For those of us that are in an office for the majority of the day and want to see some fancier photos than the ones on Facebook, this can provide an excellent alternative as a web-based application.
The interesting part of this though, is really the strategy behind the release of the API to any public developer. One would initially think that Instagram would want to be the company to develop a desktop based web application, but this has not been the case. A solid revenue model could have been created through the already frequently visited Instagram website and utilizing small ads off to the side of the website. These would not have disturbed the users and they would have brought substantial revenue to the company as it has done for Facebook. Instead, Instagram has released the API. These API’s are available through the development portion of the Instagram site. After cruising through the pages of hypertext codes, I could not find anywhere that showed a charge for getting their API. It appears that Instagram is currently operating under the philosophy that the increased word of mouth will help the brand, and allowing other companies to take the risk of a successful desktop model, which allows them to maintain their brand integrity as Instagram being solidly for the mobile devices. Instagram is really taking additional steps to encourage the creative aspect of the application with allowing access to others within their photo databases.
So we have yet to really see a full revenue model come forward from this company and its parent company of Facebook. Although Facebook has recently released a beta test to only limited users where they can pay for comments to show longer on friends home pages and have priority in the listings . This ability is activated with what is called a highlight button and they are testing consumer price points right now. The payment can be made through paypal or credit card. It will be interesting to see if Instagram utilizes this type of technology to have your photos show up on the top of your friends walls, all for the right price.
So take some time to browse how great your own pictures look on a 13 inch screen rather than a 3.5 inch one. We encourage you to experiment with your creativity on the larger scale. 🙂