On Tuesday, TechCrunch ran a story about the OG App, a relatively new third-party app that provides users with an ad-free, suggestion-free Instagram experience.
For the majority of users, this possibility may make one’s mouth water. But for advertisers, and creators, it’s another story.
The OG App allows both iOS and Android users to log into Instagram to see what they want to see. In other words, the app gives users the control they are (probably) seeking, blocking ads while also inviting them to create alternative feeds they can share with their friends.
Users can create “different feeds for food, cocktails, tennis, movie celebrities and photographers without following all those accounts,” stated TechCrunch. “Users can choose a default feed on launch” that allows them to “give priority to another list over their own home feed.”
The OG App also helps ease the full-fledged Instagram addiction many users have by letting them stop their chosen feed from fetching new content for 24 hours. Saved posts and previous posts can be revisited, and endless scrolling becomes inaccessible.
Ansh Nanda and Hardik Patil launched the app after becoming “so frustrated” with Instagram’s user experience and ever-evolving features such as Reels, Remixes, algorithms, and NFTs.
Nanda told TechCrunch the company spoke with hundreds of users, finding that many were unhappy with Instagram’s feed.
Both founders believe that Instagram has the most “convoluted feed” of all popular apps, mainly because of ads.
“We saw our friends and family getting affected by social media, and even deleting apps because they didn’t have enough options to modify what they see. We wanted to put users, and not the advertisers first with this app. We started with Instagram because we thought the app has the most toxic relationship with its users,” the founders told TechCrunch.
The founders incorporated Un1feed, which publishes the OG App. Un1feed has received $1 million in pre-seed funding and has eight people working on the app, including Nanda and Patil.
According to TechCrunch, developers are currently working on “custom feeds with private accounts, sharing custom feeds with friends, and downloading stories for offline consumption” while also allowing users to “sort any feed using filters like ‘recent,’ ‘hot,’ and ‘top in week/month/all.’”
Apparently, developers aren’t worried about Instagram changing its API (application programming interface) like Twitter did a decade ago, which has made it extremely difficult for third-party clients to alter the experience.
Depending on how popular (or not) this app becomes, creators may face challenges to knowing how many people are following their accounts, and advertisers may struggle with ad measurement.
Overall, this move seems to follow the same vein of what web3 enthusiasts are hoping for: a more decentralized media landscape where users have more power over their digital experiences.