An Interview With Pinstagram Co-Creator
Just a month ago, Pinstagram was launched, a combination of the two of the amazing social media sensations on the internet. Pinterest + Instagram! As they proclaim, it certainly is a visual treat and most definitely the best way to view your Instagram photos on the web. Yes, that’s right, a complete experience of your Instagram feed on the web in Pinterest style. The beauty of Instagram photos with the elegance of Pinterest.
And, just a few days ago they also launched their iPad app. So if you haven’t already started using it on the web, we recommend you do and the ones who have an iPad, we recommend it as a ‘Must DO’ especially if you are an avid Instagram user and love Pinterest too!
So, Social Samosa decided to speak to the Co-creator of Pinstagram and Managing partner at FireSnake labs, Pek Pongpaet and figure out what their plans are for this very interesting mashup product of theirs.
What is Pinstagram?
It’s a combination of Pinterest and Instagram with the best of the both interfaces. Most importantly it’ll allow you to view your instagram feed on the web and now on your iPad. Pinstagram lets you view your feed, popular photos, and more.
How did it start?
Pinstagram was created by Brandon Leonardo and me as a weekend project. We were jokingly throwing around ideas and thought a Pinterest for Instagram would be a funny concept. What would happen if you combined the two of the fastest growing, and hottest web properties?
With Pinterest and Instagram being one of the hottest properties, did you anticipate similar services already existing, as your competion?
I think there is always room for more or better. If you think you have a better idea or a different take on an idea you should do it. Just because the Ford Model T was around does that mean Ferrari, Porsche, BMW should not be making cars?
Why did you choose web to start off with? And now that you’ve launched the App for the iPad, would you be expanding to Android tablets?
We chose the web first because it was the easiest route for me. It’s technology that I am most familiar with and can execute the fastest. If we did the iPad app first for example, it would not have been done in a weekend. As for Android, we don’t know yet. We’re trying to figure out what’s most important to our users and respond to that.
Was this app built within 48 hours? What motivated you to finish this over the weekend?
The original web app was built within 48 hours. I started working on it Friday night and showed it to Brandon Saturday morning or afternoon. After that he continued working on it, but the design and front end part was already done. I did not work on it at all Sunday so technically it was probably done in 24 hours or so. The intent of doing it over the weekend is to move quickly. Also, when you set an artificial deadline, it forces you to really think about what’s most important about your service or product. Obviously you cannot do everything or put everything in it so you focus on the most important things.
Has anyone from Pinterest or Facebook approached you with any offers? ;)
Someone at Pinterest has offered us some coffee and free t-shirts ;)
Pinterest when it started had a huge percentage of women users as part of their demographics. What kind of a trend do you notice amongst your database?
They are all Instagram users :) I’m kidding. They seem to be all over the map. We find that people are really engaged with our product. The majority of visitors come back and they spend a lot of time on the site. A few people have told me that they leave Pinstagram permanently open in their browser.
Approximately how many users have registered so far? And how about users from India?
Our numbers are not public yet, but maybe around 1% come from India.
What are your future goals with this product? What kind of funding do you have in mind? Any VC pitches lined up?
The short term goal is we want to build a useful product that people like and we want to keep growing. In terms of the long term vision, Pinstagram could be an early version of a much bigger idea. If you boil down to the essence of what people do on Instagram and Pinstagram, people are trying to share their life and peek into other people’s lives. Pinstagram was supposed to be the ultimate VC pitch. If Instagram is worth a billion dollars and Pinterest is worth more than a billion, then if you combine the two it should be worth even more than that. That was the joke that started it all.
A lot of visual properties / apps are becoming the flavor of the season! So what’s your take on the visually evolving nature of the web?
I think human beings are visual in nature. It also takes less mental energy to both consume and create visual content. Having to write a blog post is hard. Snapping a photo is order of magnitudes easier. Also consuming visual content transcends language and cultural boundaries. A person in India can just as easily enjoy content from the US and vice versa.
On a different note, is there any story behind the name of the company FireSnake Labs?
I was born in the year of the snake according Chinese astrology. Depending on what year you were born, you are also associated with a certain element. Fire is my element so technically I am a firesnake.
Lastly, have you ever traveled to India? If you got a chance would you like to visit any specific place out here?
I have not but growing up all over the world, I’ve made many Indian friends. I really love Indian food and spicy food in general. Of course I would want to see the Taj Mahal. I would like to see the sculptures of Khajuraho up close. I also love the ocean so I would want to go to Lakshadweep.
Go check out Pinstagram today if you haven’t already!