After going backwards and forwards (as normal) with the photo sharing service Glass, I am enjoying using it lots. I post the best images I take to it. Although I can’t hold a candle to some of its skilled user base, it scratches my photo social media itch and teaches me quite a bit about the images people shoot.
Right from the off, the founders spoke about their desire to avoid the expected social app norms. You won’t find follower counts, like buttons or, my favourite, an algorithmic feed. Although, it feels to some as if they have rolled back their choice with the implementation of an “Appreciate” button. It’s not like it seems.
Extending my previous thoughts around social media likes, particularly on images, leads to looking at how to use the function positively. I was not alone in thinking that Glass could work in a way of giving small feedback prompts but not ruin the service completely. I had some ideas, but the team at Glass have absolutely nailed it. Although at first glance it looks like a dangerous slope, no public counts and no algorithm to game means much less attention-seeking rewards.
Even the word they use, appreciate, is a perfect fit for what I want to say about a photo. Even “I like it” is not enough occasionally. One of my favourite things about micro.blog is that people would respond to posts with “thank you for sharing” which makes no judgement or response, just an appreciation of taking the time to post it. A perfect fit for Glass. I am thankful that people pay £25 a year to show me the shots they are proud of.
As with everything, It’s not completely harmless, but I think it’s a good compromise. Take the image above. I was pleased with it and couldn’t wait to get it edited and posted. Only to receive absolutely no feedback. Is it rubbish? It is just not what people want to see? I have no idea because it just sits there on Glass for people to see. My reward is getting the shot I wanted and the process of producing the result — but not everyone is like that.
Of course, I don’t care. Others may do, but I feel as if the users that would care have other apps better suited to their interests. My takeaway from the update (I’ve been able to use it for a couple of weeks now) is almost all positive. Being able to leave a small token of appreciation will replace the hundreds of times I write “great shot” or “love this” and means the comments I do leave have more thought in them.
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