Being

See Instagram through the eyes of your favorite celebrities

#4 Product of the DayFebruary 19, 2016

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adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
Update #2: As of February 25, 2016, our API access has been revoked. After gaining nearly 50,000 downloads in just over 7 days, we couldn't be more grateful for the incredible response and support we received in the short period Being was live. We are hard at work on bringing Being back to all of those excited about what it offers (and to get rid of that pesky little Ghost next to our name at the top). Stay tuned! In the meantime, please read my Medium post about our exciting 7-day adventure, as well as what we learned about the current state of APIs & the independent developer: https://medium.com/@adammash/7-d... Thank you! ============ Update #1: GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! The updated version of BEING is now available on the App Store! This version contains a fix to the previous version that prevented feeds from loading due to unexpectedly high traffic on launch day. Thanks to everyone for all your support during this CRAZY launch. ============ Thanks so much for hunting us, @adamokane! We’re really pumped to finally share Being with you! For the first time ever, you can experience Instagram through someone ELSE’S eyes. Working on @Mashfeed, we discovered that in many ways, who you follow on social media says more about you than what you actually post. By letting you see Instagram from the perspective of another user, we think that Being unlocks a whole new layer of discovery & curation. And if for no other reason, the app really lets you feel like you’re part of Taylor Swift's Insta squad for a moment! I also wrote a Medium post about the evolution of the product, and why we believe it’s a natural progression for social media: http://bit.ly/1ToxwvJ The last day has been absolutely CRAZY, and we've gotten more attention than we expected. This also means that all of our awesome new users brought down the servers. We're working w Apple on an emergency build that fixes the issues, and everything should be up and running soon. In the meantime, I’ll be here all day answering questions. Let us know know what you think, and tell us who you want to experience Instagram as! Thanks!
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
Oh, and obligatory cat GIF cc: @rrhoover
Liora@liora_ · Product Manager in Silicon Beach
@adammash @adamokane @mashfeed A little surprised your medium post hasn't gotten more attention! I thought it was very thoughtful. I left a comment but I'll post it here too: Inevitably, celebrities will follow private feeds you don't have access to. Does the app inform users that certain private feeds couldn't be incorporated? You've put a lot of thought into an Instagram sidekick - what do you have planned next? Would you explore more with the Instagram API, or start investigating other platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and Vine?
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@liora_ @adamokane @mashfeed Hey Liora! Thanks for the kind words about the post. It was a blast to write. We totally respect all privacy settings that exist on Instagram. So if someone is private and you're not friends with them, you'll never see their posts on Being. As I mentioned in the medium post (http://bit.ly/1ToxwvJ), our main goal with Being is to unlock the potential of who users are following as a new form of content curation. We've found that WHO you follow is sometimes more authentic than WHAT you post, as it says something about your tastes and interests that isn't necessarily represented in what you post. This first version is intended to introduce people to what we believe is the next step in the evolution of social media (moving from a very limited, personalized experience to sharing your experience with others as a new form of curation). For now, we're really focusing on ways to help people discover better content and connect with one another, while enhancing their existing Instagram experience. Thanks again, and we'd love to know what you think once the new version is out!
Liora@liora_ · Product Manager in Silicon Beach
@adammash @adamokane @mashfeed I'm actually less concerned about you violating privacy (I don't doubt that the Instagram API makes that reasonably difficult) and more: let's say I want to follow TSwift's 66 followers, but 12 of them are private. Do you let me know that I'm not seeing her entire feed? Do you give me the option to request to follow those other 12 users?
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@liora_ @adamokane @mashfeed That's great feedback, and a very interesting idea. Currently, we do not, but it's definitely something we'll consider to help people discover new feeds and to give them a more complete picture of what they're viewing. Thanks!
Michael Riddering@ridderingand_ · Cofounder, Trendly
@liora_ @adammash @adamokane @mashfeed Agreed...more people should read your Medium post. Really is thought provoking! Oh and props to the onboarding screens in app
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Partner https://theupstarters.co/
Just saw the article on The Next Web "This app lets you see what it’s like to be a celebrity on Instagram" h/t @tweets_amanda Be Biebs for a bit.... You can checkout their video here:
Joe Sturgess@sturge87 · Marketing Exec, SwiftSocial
@bentossell @tweets_amanda That video showed me nothing thougggggh 😩
Josh Barkin@joshbarkin · Co-founder @ Janis.ai
@bentossell @tweets_amanda Cool idea, but I agree...the video is 1:36 and a total of 12 seconds was dedicated to the product. The rest is a music video
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@sturge87 but isn't it cool though?? 😎
Kirk Fletcher@kirksfletcher · Technical Director - SwiftSocial.com
@joshbarkin @bentossell @tweets_amanda Yeah I think it the video is too metaphorical not enough focus on the product. There is nothing wrong with using a metaphore but it should have flicked back and forth between that and product usage. Sorry guys :-(
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@kirksfletcher @joshbarkin @bentossell @tweets_amanda We had so much fun shooting in first person with GoPros we kinda forgot what we were shooting for! Haha, hope you liked the video nonetheless.
Scott Broughton@weheartscott · Designer & Head of Mobile @ Netsells.
This is one of those great ideas that is so obvious, and leaves you wondering why you haven't come up with it yourself already. Really well executed too!
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@weheartscott thanks so much for the kind words! ☺️
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@weheartscott What sort of users are you interested in experiencing Instagram as?
Enes Emini@eminienes · Developer, Emini Arts
Super cool Idea! Although it seems to not be working at the moment! Maybe because of the coverage they got on the Verge and other big sites. And also: I could imagine that someone would be uncomfortable knowing that anyone can view their feed just for fun. Even though their feed is only sort of private, a tool like Being encourages people to look at your feed, which they might not have done otherwise (by going through your follows).
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@eminienes thanks for the comment! Yeah, we got a lot more users than we expected yesterday due to some great press. Unfortunately that also caused our servers to go down! But we are working on a critical bug fix with Apple so that should be live shortly. Pretty weird to be discussing an app that doesn't fully work at the moment, but it'llbe great once it's back up! UPDATE: A NEW VERSION IS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE APP STORE, WHICH FIXED THE PREVIOUS SERVER ISSUES.
Jan Ahrend@janahrend · PhD Student, University of Oxford
@adammash Being was today mentioned by Shia LaBeouf at the Oxford Union Elevator stunt. You can look up the stream on YouTube if interested
adam mashaal
Maker
@adammash · Founder of Being. East Village, NYC
@janahrend No way! #youknowyouvemadeitwhen. Was it part of the live stream, or is it recorded??
Jan Ahrend@janahrend · PhD Student, University of Oxford
@adammash yes, as part of the live stream. I recorded it but it should also be on YouTube once the stream finished. Let me know if I can help hello@janahrend.com