Who are you people and what do you want?

Let's jump right in: the average Over Instagram reader is a thirty-something designer who's proficient at photography (n=64). But none of you are primarily a photographer. One of you is a physical therapist, who I'm pretty sure is my wife. And one of you is a self-proclaimed "retired world class internet surfer"—Dad is that you?

A quarter of you (23%) aren't photographers but have an interest in photography. Mostly everybody else is a photographer at some level, but no one calls themselves an expert.

Other apps

Not surprisingly almost everyone has used Instagram, and about 50% of you have used Flickr. A lot of you have received feedback on your work on Instagram, and relatively few have received feedback on other services. But the bar is so depressingly low as to what qualifies for feedback on Instagram. A "like" is about as useful as grunting approvingly in someone's general direction. A surprising amount of you said you've received feedback in person.

A few people wrote in "Reddit". I've been hanging out around /r/photography and /r/photocritique and there's some good stuff going on over there but comes along with the somewhat cringey Reddit culture. I got banned for mentioning this project by a moderator who probably smells like cabbage and spends his free time playing Fortnite in his parent's basement.


The vast majority of you are shooting at least a few times a month, and a quarter of you are shooting weekly. Good work! This is going to be helpful as we explore the cadence around how often is optimal to post new work on the app.

Since most of us are amateurs, our goals are primarily self expression and "recording" life, although some people said their goal was to record life or beauty more generally, not necessarily their own life.

Squinting at the horizon

The top scoring feature overall was inspiration, followed closely by no bots and getting feedback. I didn't expect the bot thing to be so popular—you really hate that stuff. That's great because I've been running a little experiment on Instagram that I think you'll enjoy. It's weird. More on that soon.

Not many of you want an app for meeting up in real life or getting wider exposure on their work, possibly because there are already decent solutions for these problems.

Survey - App Features
Ranked features by importance

The picture painted by these results is that most people want to be inspired first and get feedback second in an authentic way within a high quality community. That sounds good to me. I didn't go into the project thinking as much about inspiration but it's clear from this survey and my calls with photographers that this has to be a priority.

The full set of results are here on Survey Monkey. I paid $384 for Survey Monkey for the year so might as well get some use out of this bad boy. I'm surveying everyone now. I don't even talk to my wife anymore. I just send her Survey Monkey surveys. Also isn't obvious that Survey Monkey should use that IPO money to buy Mailchimp and roll it up into a suite of primate themed products? I think so.

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