VSCO, the iPhoneography app which retro-fies your pictures and turns all blacks into shades of dark gray, has taken what looks like the final step to become a social network: The VSCO Grid, a place for you to group and display your best work in – yes – a grid, is now followable. As in Twitter or Instagram-like followable.
I just got an e-mail inviting me to the “follow beta,” which lets me follow other photographers and see what they post to their grids. And if I ever used VSCO any more it’d presumably let them follow me. Apparently, this was a much asked-for feature:
Since we launched VSCO Grid, the ability to follow other photographers and view their images in a feed has been requested constantly. As part of our Follow Beta, you are now able to follow other photographers on Grid.
Unlike Instagram, which is something of a popularity contest, Grid doesn’t display the number of followers you have, or their names. This means that you’ll have to rely on your own judgement and decide if you like a picture all by yourself. This will clearly scare off many sheeple, which is probably a good thing.
What I don’t like is the elitist way VSCO talks about this, talking about “the ethos that quality imagery trumps social clout.” A fine sentiment, but those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, I see better photos on Instagram than I do on Flickr, mostly due to the fact that Instagram is where the party is. It’s all very well to keep your club exclusive, but if nobody visits, it;s not much of a club.
Anyway, the beta is rolling out now. If you want me to follow you, hit me up on Instagram (#rimshot).