Flow for Instagram close

Mark McDermott
Mark McDermott
In Codegent News, Site Launches
19th December 2013
Flow for Instagram

Instagram is great for capturing and sharing moments from your iPhone, but what about viewing those moments on your iPad? We felt something was missing…


"Flow for Instagram” is designed especially for your iPad. Scroll through your feed like never before and experience more on the iPad's larger display. Explore and comment on moments from friends as well as discover and bookmark interesting content from around the world.

Features

  • Smooth browsing experience
  • Super fast loading of photos and videos
  • Carefully crafted interactions: scroll, tap, like, swipe, peek & more
  • Search and bookmark #tags @users & places
  • Discover top ranked Instagram accounts and #tags
  • Shopping & fashion feeds for every country!
  • Video playback with fullscreen & airplay
  • Share to Facebook & Twitter or save on your camera roll
  • And more much more…

Designed for iOS7 but backward compatible with iOS6. This app runs on all iPads apart from the original iPad. For the best experience we recommend using WIFI or LTE.

For screenshots please download the asset pack.

Background Information

Why did we decide to build Flow?

We started off building an Instagram shopping app for Thailand as IG is really popular there and there are 10,000s of shops using the platform. We wanted to fix the discovery problem for IG shoppers.

During the design phase we built an iPad prototype of the shopping app and fell in love with browsing Instagram on the iPad. While the shopping app idea was interesting there was a bigger problem to tackle. No iPad app for Instagram! We already had a working prototype so decided to continue.

Later in the development, we returned to the Instagram shopping concept and included charts of popular IG shops in each country within the Explore section of the app.

What makes Flow different from other Instagram apps?

We think it is the browsing experience and focus on the photos. It’s fundamental difference is seeing a dozen photos at a time and scrolling through your feeds without the clutter of comments or profile pictures.

When using the iPhone you dip into your home feed regularly but don’t generally scroll back far or dig deep into other peoples’ feeds. With Flow we encourage discovery and make browsing profile, places and tags as easy as viewing your home feed.

Another difference when compared to existing iPad apps for Instagram is the attention to detail on design and user interactions. We wanted to build an app that felt like it could be comparable to the official IG app in terms of quality. In pursuit of this goal we spent a lot of time making sure things were smooth and that photos and videos loaded as fast as possible.

Last but not least Flow has exclusive content. Charts of the most popular users and shops for every country. This makes it easy for people to find users to follow and shops they may be interested in buying from. This feature has proven to be very popular from user testing in Thailand.

What is missing?

No camera functionality. 3rd party apps are not allowed to upload photos or videos to Instagram directly. While this is a bit of a bummer in general it’s not such a big deal for an iPad app. Most users’ regular access to the platform is to browse and interact rather than post so we felt this wasn’t a big omission.

At the moment Flow is only viewable in landscape mode. Portrait view is coming in an update soon, we just needed to ship v1 to get some feedback and validation that this was what people wanted.

Are you funded? Is this a Startup? What is your business model?

No we are not funded, and no we are not trying to be another photo sharing startup, this was essentially a hack project that turned into a passion project for us. We built the app because it’s something we wanted to exist and we are releasing the app for free because we want to share it with as many people as possible.

We may add some premium features such as account switching in the future to help cover costs but we don’t expect these will impact most users. If Instagram include ads in the feed we will run those ads but at present we don’t have any plans to add ads to the app.

Why do you think Instagram haven’t built an iPad app yet?

We are not sure. Perhaps it’s because the iPad is mostly for viewing photos rather than taking photos? Perhaps they are trying to stop people looking silly holding up iPads taking photos everywhere. It will be interesting to see if they do release an app. We certainly feel there is a need for an app, otherwise we wouldn’t have built Flow. The community on Twitter seem to agree.

Checkout Flow on you iPad today!