Bokeh: A Privacy-focused Photo-sharing Network

Fellow blogger, writer, front-end engineer, and John Gruber fan (who doesn’t like Daring Fireball seriously?) — Tim Smith of BrightPixels is Kickstarting probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. If you like services like Letterboxd or Micro.blog I think you’ll enjoy this Kickstarter.

More on that in a bit. But first, let’s back up. If you follow the blog here, you know I’m no fan of Facebook. No surprise there. There’s been some interesting developments recently concerning Facebook:

Oh. Fun. 2.8B fake accounts.

That. Is fucking insane. A huge admittance.

Our precious fragile WWW is dire peril ya’ll. It’s up to us. It’s time to dump Facebook. Zuckerberg’s recent pivot to “encryption” and “privacy” is a nothing short of malarkey and an attempt to circumvent potential FCC fines for future data-mishandling. He knows Facebook is bleeding users and there’s a reason why Instagram’s co-founder left Facebook last year.

To make matter worst, Instagram is horrible for your mental health. We spend way too much time peering into the black mirror of Instagram. It’s driving many of us into depression, others into despair, and for others inspiring fear and hate.

Magic Mirror, on the wall, who, now, is the fairest one of all?

So yeah. Facebook is horrible. There’s really no disputing that Facebooks suite of social media applications are tearing apart the web, our mental health, and society. *sighs*

Enter Bokeh. A refreshing new take on photo-sharing.

If you’re a fan of MLTSHP (or the predecessor MLKSHK), I think you’ll enjoy Bokeh’s vision (from the Kickstarter):

Bokeh will be ad-free, have a chronological timeline, and will be private by default. That means that all accounts will start off as private. Public accounts will have an RSS feed, will have the option to cross-post to other social networks, and will support custom domains. All accounts will have an indie web compatible export so you can self-host if you want to.

People won’t be able to find you by name, but will instead need to know your username to find you. Bokeh will never display publicly who follows you or who you follow. If someone has requested to follow you 3 times and you’ve declined, the app will prompt you to block them. In other words, these are your pictures and I want you to have precise control over who sees them.

A still from Tim’s Kickstarter pitch-video.

I think this is really compelling privacy-focused concept. I’m an avidly public persona online, and that’s just me personally — but everyone isn’t into that. So, having this privacy-by-default option is really rad. Moreover, I’m digging the pricing strategy:

Bokeh will have individual and family accounts. Individual accounts will cost $3/month or $30/year, and family accounts will cost $5/month or $50/year. You’ll be able to add up to 5 people to a family account, including the account admin. By backing this project now, you’ll get a discount and allow me to pay for the initial development.

This right here is what hopefully keeps hate-speech at bay, and might even eliminate bots and spam. I firmly believe pay-to-play models will save our online communities. Whereas, free-to-play models might become (predictably) the last bastions of hate-speech.

I really like Tim’s blog. I really like Tim’s idea and that’s why I’m backing his project. I really want privacy to win. But more importantly I want us to win. The more we use services like Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp — the more we lose. For the longest time, I thought Apple was uniquely positioned to bring us a privacy-focused photo-network but that never really panned out did it? It’s time for a change. Isn’t it time we had a real place to share photos with our friends?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: