Lately I’ve been photo blogging to Pixelfed instead of Instagram. (Pixelfed.social, to be precise, which is an instance running Pixelfed. I wrote a note about Pixelfed a while ago where this is explained in slightly more detail.) Although of course Pixelfed is still beta, and Insta is the top dog in the photo/micro/blog scene, there are quite a couple of things now to love about Pixelfed.
Pixelfed doesn’t do ads. The ad-to-content ratio of Instagram (around 30%) was eventually what drove me from Instagram. Maybe it was also the app size. (I use a company iPhone. It’s constrained.) As Pixelfed is free software, and you can run it on your own server if you want, it obviously doesn’t have ads.
The ui is a responsive web page; I don’t know what constitutes a PWA, this surely looks that to me. (But what do I know, I guess it probably doesn’t have offline mode. Maybe it does… I’m never offline. I don’t know. I’m confused.) Anyhow, I simply pinned it to my home screen on my phone, and now I post to Pixelfed almost like I would to Instagram, with the added extra of also being able to post from my laptops.
The (default) ui also is a fairly blatant ripoff of Instagram. I don’t mind. It also supports multi-image posts, which I mind even less (heck, I love it, just look at this post from Valencia.) But, unlike Instagram, it also supports 2 alternative skins: MomentUI, a beautiful “mosaic tiled” interface, and MetroUI dark mode, the dark version of the default skin.
It has federation, and this, for me, is how everything should work on the Internet. I post something on Pixelfed, and view (or boost, or like) it on Mastodon. It’s awesome, I love the spirit of it.
I admit, I could do with some IMG tags in the Atom feed entries… But I’m sure it’ll come.
Maybe some basic analytics on the Atom too, number of subscribers, that kind of thing. But can do without.
I also admit I could do with WordPress auto instert (like what we have with Twitter or Youtube, where you instert a simple link, and WordPress will pull in the content and eyecandify it for you.)
And I also admit that, lacking WordPress auto insert for the time being, I could also do with an Embed option for Pixelfed posts — something that provides me with an embed code that I can easily, you know, embed.
And although I don’t care I guess, it’s important to note: if you are in it for the fake internet points (“likes”), stay on Instagram. Pixelfed is not that big yet.
I like Pixelfed more and more. The last time I wrote about it it was so early I wasn’t sure it would stick at all. Now it clearly is sticking, and although still not 1.0 software, it’s mature enough to run a photoblogging op. (Maybe not yet on your own server, but that’ll come too.) I just checked and there’s now a Patreon page, as well as a Liberapay. If you are into supporting these kinds of open web initiatives, here’s one that’s worthy. Sure is worthy of mine.