Is our love of Instagram misplaced?

I was really in love with Instagram. I’ve put tons of photos into the system, and love the feedback I get there, love the quality of photos I see flowing through the system there, love the user interface, and more. So do many other people. It was the hit of 2010, breaking a million users after just being out a few weeks.

But is our love misplaced?

I’ve found my love waning after learning that competitor PicPlz is cross platform. That alone should be important, because more of your friends can see (and share with you) photos.

But after talking to PicPlz’ CEO/founder Dalton Caldwell I learned something far more important: it doesn’t destroy image quality the way Instagram does.

Let me explain what I mean.

If I use Instagram it reduces the image size to fit into its format. That’s throwing pixels away.
But worse, if I apply a filter in Instagram, say, to make an image black and white, it permanently throws away the color info and only uploads to its servers a black and white version.

PicPlz, on the other hand, uploads the full quality photo (which takes slightly longer) but then applies any filters you use on the server. Even then it stores both your original image as well as the new, black and white version (or whatever filter you chose). That’s a HUGE difference in philosophy and one that is making me question my love of Instagram.

Further, PicPlz has an API (read and write) that lets you do filters and other stuff server side that Instagram is going to struggle to do.

How about you? Are you still in love with Instagram after hearing all this?

Here, watch Dalton demo his app and tell me how PicPlz works.


Exclusive first look: Zoho Books, taking on small business accounting

This week Zoho announced another service in its online suite of collaboration tools for small businesses, this one for keeping the finances, called “Zoho Books.” Here’s the news from around the web:

Techcrunch: Zoho Preparing Online Accounting Service Zoho Books
GigaOm: Integrated Online Accounting and Bookkeeping With Zoho Books
ZDNet: Zoho launches Books to round out its suite, targets QuickBooks

Here I sit down with Zoho’s CEO, Sridhar Vembu, and Evangelist Raju Vegesna, to learn more and get a demo of how it works.

First look at’s new features; rolling out to five million users!

This week announced a ton of new stuff. You can read the press on Techmeme, or here:

Techcrunch: Upgrades Cloud Storage Platform With New UI, Collaborative Features And More
ZDNet: Box shakes up site with complete makeover, new tools
GigaOm: New Version of File Sharing and Collaboration Service Targets Simplicity
PCWorld: Overhauls Content Management App’s User Interface
VentureBeat: looks to keep it simple with new version of cloud storage software
Mashable: Unveils New, Simplified Interface

To get more detail, though, I sat down with Box’s CEO, Aaron Levie, and Senior Web Developer Florian Jourda, who gave me details behind the new features (like how they used open source technology from Facebook) and showed me around the new features.