Itay Adam who has been a Web Entrepreneur for almost 20 years came up with a genuine problem, found a solution and tried to build a startup around it. That’s what every entrepreneur does. Instead, he got screwed from the very guy who was supposed to be helping him.
Instagram has a serious problem where people hashtag a lot just to receive traction. People hashtag things that don’t make any sense. To make things worse, Instagram lets you have up to 30 tags for every photo. That means thirty different search terms where you can make your photos pop up. This feature is really being exploited to an extent that I stopped searching for photos because it’s going to turn up with a lot of irrelevant ones.
Adam recognised this problem and comes up with a solution: firegr.am. It lets people decide which ‘one’ tag is the most relevant and you get to choose it. In Adam’s own words,
The concept behind Firegr.am was a simple yet smart process. The app used Instagrams’ API to pull all your photos, offer you to review them and allow you to chose one photo, tag it with only -1- word and blast it out (firegram it). The blast spiked the photo to the top of the search results of 150 popular tags by switching them every 5 second. When Instagram users searched for “shoes” they got exposed to your photo for 5 seconds, in these 5 seconds they either liked it or not, and your tag switched again, for example to: “love”. This is how your photo got another 5 sec of exposure at the top of the search results. 150 tags brought in an average of 140-180 likes and 5-10 new followers per photo. You wanted followers and likes? You wanted “fame”? Cool, there you have it. Now in return, make sure you tag your photo with a reliable final -1- tag.
Thinking of it, the concept is seriously amazing. So, he went ahead to work on it. They soon get the seed money, he hired a couple of employees, the UI/UX is done and they are in their testing stages. All of a sudden, Instagram closed their API. On contacting Instagram, they were told that they’d exceeded their API’s rules for commenting. But, they came to an understanding and opened the access to their API.
Two days later, their API gets blocked for the second time. On contacting Instagram, now they want exact specifications as to what the app does, the screenshots, etc. So, Adam sends them over and they get a green light. A few days later, their API has been blocked for the third time. So, he contacts Instagram again, but this time he realised that he was contacting with Mike Krieger, the Co-Founder of Instagram all the time. Anyways, he sends the mail and gets the green light.
Three weeks later, they have a successful launch. Just 30 minutes after the launch when all things are good, Instagram blocks their API once again. They contacted him and they had no reply. This was the last time Instagram blocked their API and never turned it back on. They practically begged him every day for three weeks for a reply before they gave up and firegr.am was gone.
Seriously, they could’ve just told that things won’t work or that they won’t let it happen. Instead, they played along. Guess they were experimenting to see how well things would turn up. I wouldn’t be surprised if such a feature pops up inside the Instagram App in any of the future updates.
Mike Krieger killed my startup. Mike Krieger, like a few other web entrepreneurs, forgot where he came from, and how he too, in his past, craved the moment of success. When you forget where you come from, you’re nothing but a momentary lapse of reason.
We really wish things turned out different. People wouldn’t have had to waste time. Adam hopes to launch a campaign and he is also on the look out for a lawyer, Hope Mike Krieger comes out with an explanation real soon.
We have contacted Mike Krieger for an explanation. We will update the article if we get any reply from him.
Click here to read the whole story in Adam’s blog.