Pressgram Blog

An App Startup Story

Hello World: Version 2.0


Hello world. It’s finally here. Within the next few hours you should see an update notification for Pressgram v2.0. I’m somewhat breathless and I’ve been waiting for this moment for quite some time (and let us know when you update via Twitter!).

This is a MAJOR version update with tons of new features to be used and explored. And to be honest, I’m not exactly sure where to begin … and instead of a typical bulleted-list, I’ve decided to give you my candid thoughts – I hope that’s ok.

So here we go:

The biggest change is the fact that I’ve removed the social networking layer entirely. This shouldn’t be a complete shock, as I’ve been speaking honestly about it for a while now as we’ve gotten closer to launch, but I know that there are some who have not kept up with the blog on a daily basis (subscribe via RSS or Email!).

The change is not without cost though, as I know many in the Pressgram community were using the social network daily and with great intent, and I’m sure that more than a handful of users will be upset. Please trust me when I say that I have weighed the cost, both from a figurative and literal perspective, and have come to the conclusion that it would be the best decision moving forward.

To those that might struggle to like me for the decision, I am sorry, and I hope you can find use of the application in this new economy. I encourage everyone to update to the newest version as well since I will close down the now-deprecated API and the service will no longer be active for versions 1.6 and below. March 31 will be the cut-off date.

We have, in short, returned to the original score if you will, the original intent. I resolved many months ago that the original vision was to be the best mobile image publishing system available and that I could do a better job of making that vision a reality.

Consequently, I have increased the number of publishing platforms available to the user by an exponential count. You can now publish to:

  • Blogger / Blogspot
  • Squarespace
  • Tumblr
  • Google+
  • Typepad
  • MovableType
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Any more…? (I’m looking at Ghost, Svbtle, Medium…)

This in and of itself is a radical departure, but a wise one in the short and long-run. It means that more people can enjoy the publishing features that Pressgram has to offer!

In addition you’ll be able to add multiple accounts per technology platform. Although I do not necessarily recommend adding too many at a time, for many reasons, it is quite possible to add an infinite number of blogging properties (I’m sure someone will test this at some point).

If we were to stop here, then Pressgram would be a very unique and powerful application; but I didn’t stop there at all.

The user now has a plethora of new editing features that should make even the “power user” quite happy. I shall make a list of them here because it now makes sense to do so, as well as give a brief description:

  1. Fundamentals - This free pack includes your fundamental editing features like cropping and size manipulation, water drops, focus, and transform.

  2. Core Lighting - Take your mobile editing up a notch with our core lighting pack like exposure management, brightness, contrast, and fade.

  3. Advanced Effects - For those that need an even finer set of tools including sharpen, saturation and temperature controls, and highlights.

  4. Refinement - Get the exact look with universal vignette, orange and green adjustments, clarity, and a grain effect for style.

  5. Borders - Add stylized borders for your images to give them a bit of panache and your own personal signature look.

  6. Text Treatment - While images do in fact speak 1,000 words, we sometimes need 1,001 – add a qualitative text treatment for impact.

  7. Color and Light - Turn a “problem” into a statement with our lomographic-inspired effects. Add a bit of flavor to your already great images.

  8. Textures - Give your images a bit of character through our classic texture treatments and design your own look for personal image branding.

  9. Shapes - Add some fun to your images which will set them apart; besides, you’re already known for being a bit different, right?

  10. Custom Watermarks - Protect your images even more with a customized watermark for your brand, business, and creative work.

Whew – there you go. In addition to retaining EXIF data integrity and variable sizes for your blogging property, as well as customizing each blogging properties tags, categories, and default behavior, it’s a serious image editing app in addition to the native publishing side.

Oh, and the ability to add multiple images to your post was a final addition that really puts the proverbial cherry on top.

I hope that you can understand and somehow appreciate the amount of time, effort, and care that I put into this app in the last few months. I have sweated the small decisions as much as the larger ones, and at every turn I have considered you, my community and users.

I am grateful, period. This app wouldn’t be where it is today without you and your support. I’m so very thankful for all the thoughts, prayers, comments, considerations, and even “negative” press that I’ve received – I’ve leveraged it all to make a better product.

It’s been tough at times, and there have been moments when I’ve honestly wanted to quit. I think this is representative of all that is good about product development and my love for doing work that matters.

If I can ask you to do one thing it’s that you simply enjoy the app for what it is. Publish, daily. Tell stories. Share moments. Live and capture the good stuff, the stuff worth telling and retelling. And if you find enough time at the end of it all, would you mind telling others about it? Many of you have already been doing that since Day #1 and I wish I could thank each one of you personally – I know that would be impossible but perhaps someday technology will allow it.

Pressgram has taught me more about myself as a software engineer than any product previously, and perhaps more importantly it’s illuminated more about myself than I had ever anticipated. Scary, humbling, exhilarating, wonderful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.



  1. Congrats Homie. You’ve destroyed the internet.

  2. Checking the store every 5 minutes until it shows up… I would love to see a public API so I could use it with the CMS I use at my work, Ekklesia. I could see how it would be very useful to churches and the various ministries.

  3. …waiting for it to show up…

    Congratulations on 2.0! I for one am stoked to get my hands on it…

  4. I can’t wait to get my eyes and hands on this new version of Pressgram. It’s clear you put so much time and effort into transforming Pressgram into a powerhouse of new capabilities. Thank you for all your hard work and effort.

  5. man, wow! looks like you know a few things about obj-c.

    so excited to see v2.0 out in the wild.

  6. Hey John, I’ve got nothing more to say other than thanks. For one, the passion you’ve shown with Pressgram is nothing short of inspiring. Secondly, your massive efforts seem to have resulted in an awesome new experience that i’m very excited to get my hands on. Congrats, man. You deserve every bit of acclaim.

  7. John, I’d like to commend you for the hard work and great thought you’ve put into the app. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from you is keeping community in the picture through development stages etc… Dang! I’ll just work on a post on this…

    But yeah; seriously and heartfelt Thank you. And thanks to Sue and your kids for letting you put time and effort into enriching our lives.

    (Now to go work on that post…)

  8. Awesome! Can’t wait for Apple to release the software.

  9. First of all congratulations. I guess you now know what’s it’s like to give birth to a 12 pound baby :-) Secondly (and may be this should be first) thank you for the work and the love.

    I remember a discussion about paid features (filters?) While I don’t use them, I want to buy some in order to contribute to the flow. 53K only goes so far. We want you happy, healthy and loaded! Are paid features still in the plans?

  10. Wahoo!

  11. Wow!!! Lots of great stuff here!!

  12. I am happy for the success you are having. With the 2.0 version for the iFolks… Any hope at all for a release of an Android version please?

  13. Mark-John Clifford

    March 20, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Congrats John. Creams do come true. You’ve made a difference in a great many lives including your own. Thanks

  14. Great update – how about export to Instagram? ;)

  15. WOW, this is amazing. Updating RIGHT NOW.

  16. Loving it already John, and I just uploaded a picture of my lunch to Facebook and Twitter, about to share this with a few folks I know too.

  17. Slightly sad that borders are considered ‘premium’.

    Also a little bummed we still have the ‘color’ filters and not the old names. I really loved the old names. I guess I’m the exception there.

  18. You are to Publishing what Seth Godin is to thought leadership. Plus, you “Just Ship” like Seth, too! I am always inspired by hard work and classy, elegant execution and you exude those like a Cinnabon store exudes the cinnamon bun smell throughout a mall.

  19. I definitely like the removal of the social layer! I felt it competed too much with Instagram (which would be an awesome publishing platform to add), but now…it’s exactly what I hoped it would be :)

  20. Great update!! Thank you and continued success John.

  21. I love the new interface! Thank you!

  22. Thank you for your hard work John!

  23. Sweet release! It’ll be great to use this as my app of choice (and more endpoints!) for photos.

  24. Matt Quanstrom

    March 21, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Such a great update John, really digging it. The additional platforms are fantastic! Can’t wait to show everyone!

  25. Any in-app purchase hook up available for those of us who already paid $125 for what’s now apparently a $12 (if all add-ons purchased separately) or $15 (if subscribed annually) app? And what makes the annual subscription to all of the add-ons worth more than just buying everything individually? Needless to say, I’m a little confused about this update.

    • Nick,

      Appreciate the questions, for sure.

      This update is a big pivot for the app and company – I quite literally built an entire new app! I appreciate the support for the first app, without question and unfortunately I don’t have “freebies” to give out to all of the original supporters!

      Thanks for your continued support!

      • Okay, so the app I supported is now gone. Sweet. Are you able to explain why I’d pay $15 annually instead of $12 one time to get all of the add ons? And what makes all of these add ons worth $12 or $15 when other photo sharing apps with similar features cost significantly less?

        • Really? “Nickle and Dimed to Death”? Why would you post a review like that?
          You received the application, as promised, via the original kickstarter project! You were given what I was obligated to give you, 100%!

          But the show goes on in the life of software and technology and people need to feed their families and pay for mortgages and stuff… and the cost of managing the social network would have literally forced me to sell my home (I am, in fact, selling my home…).

          The point is that the obligation was met but software and a company has to do what is necessary for survival. I’m sorry you feel “burned” but man, that’s a really cruel review that doesn’t really account for all the work and time I’ve poured into it.

  26. The new UI is just breathtaking to say the least.. Wow! Absolutely love it, John.

  27. Hi John, I’m doing a presentation on Pressgram 2.0 for my local Mac Users Group (MUG). Do you have Press images/icons etc. I can use on our web site?

  28. Have you considered adding Flickr to the list of places you can publish to? With the massive amounts of storage it offers, it’s nice to also route images to Flickr to back them up :)

  29. John – is there a way to post to a Facebook page rather than a profile? Just trying to figure that out. Excited to see Google+ added!!

  30. Is there information anywhere about using with I already use pressgram on a self hosted blog and would like to use it with our private family blog also. Thanks for a great app!

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