Glass won't make it.

Instagram betrayed us, Flickr is dead, 500px sucks.” (some random guy). Which means, we need a solution, a saviour, a place to put our photos.

Enter Glass. For $30/year, you’ll get your “best photos” online.

But does it have legs? I don’t think so.

Unlike the betrayer, the dead, and the sucking, Glass has no sharing functionality. I can link you to two of my images, but that’s it. Unlike Flickr, where I could do that, or embed the image either within Flickr’s own display framework or standalone.

Lazy Summer Evenings

Which leads to the second issue: discoverability. If I am interested in images from Erding, Flickr will let me find them. Or images taken with a specific camera. From this, from those images, come subscriptions or follows, photographers finding each other over shared interests. Glass won’t let me do this. Instead, I have to scroll around a useless list of small icons (on my phone, no desktop, web, or tablet access) that seems to be ordered by some magic sauce completely unrelated to my viewing pleasures or interests.

And this is the last, the most damning issue with Glass: it’s iPhone only. No Android, no Web, no Desktop, no connectors to Lightroom or Capture One, no Tablet. Pictures, the size of a playing card, scrolled through quickly: that’s Instagram. In this regard, Glass is Instagram without the community, without the interactions, without the discoverability.

Uploading my “best” images only, would mean to find them in Capture One, edit them, then reinsert them into Apple Photos on my computer, wait for their appearance inside my Photo library on my phone (scrolling around like a madperson to find them), and then uploading them. In that way, Glass is Flickr without the discoverability, embeddability, community, ease of upload, tablet, Android, web, and desktop versions.

Flickr isn’t dead because of its features. It’s dead, because phones do not lend themselves easily to well shot landscape orientation images. Phones, the mobile experience, is more spur-of-the-moment and more quick glances than appreciative degustation. Flickr was too slow to bring those things to mobile and now pays the price. But if Flick and Instagram (and 500px which really sucks bad) are the question, Glass isn’t the answer.

Mikka Luster @mikka