Instagram, yes, an established social media with an awesome collection of filters, large user base and huge market. On 2010, it appeared like a ‘dream come true’ to all of us which allowed editing photos in a smart way that was out of imagination. What was most exciting? You could share those photos as well! And that is how Instagram - as a photo editing and photo sharing platform - covered the market, ranging from celebrities to mass people like you and me.
The next phase of this startup is known to us. It was sold to Facebook for $1 billion after one and half year of its launch. There are still tonnes of debates if it could be the right decision for Instagram to stand alone as an independent social network app which worth it minimum 10 times more today. Of course, we could not ignore the chances of a sudden drop in the stock market as on first two years, the company had no revenue. At the same time, the higher user base of Facebook was also attractive offer to Kevin Systrom that will be converted to Instagram after getting merged. And it actually happened - the number of monthly users of Instagram got doubled in last two years. On the other hand, to many of the user, the disappointment of the deal was - how another photo sharing app of almost same age, Snapchat, has rejected to be sold and made their own way successfully.
A New Craze Out on the Market!
Apart from the criticism, when Instagram is on its highest peak, there is a totally new craze just out in the social media market. It is called Prisma. With the idea of deep neural network, it turns your photos into artistic style like Munk and Picasso. The idea is incredibly amazing! The feedback shows the same. Immediately after one week of its launch, the app gained over 7.5 million downloads and over one million active users (as of July 2016).
But what actually is this app? To be very simple, it takes the photo request from the user which is sent to the server. Afterwards, the server delivers this photo as input to their in-built neural network. Finally, through complex machine learning algorithm, the recreated photo from the scratch comes back as output to the user. To the mass user - it is just a photo editing app with an outstanding filter.
Now the thousand dollar question - is Prisma competent enough to continue as an independent app? What are the challenges it may face?
Upcoming Challenges for Prisma
The future of prisma depends on how it approaches itself. According to AppAnnie, it already started to lose the frequency of downloads and the rate of reviews. These are the reason behind why Prisma could not maintain its top chart position in both media-photo and overall categories. Once it was at the number 01 position in ‘download’ list of US, Germany, UK app store which does not exist any longer. The stats from AppAnnie shows the declining path both for Apple app store and Google play store.
Fig: Prisma Rank history in Apple appstore (Jul 15 to Aug 12'16)
Fig: Prisma Rank history in Google Playstore (Jul 27 to Aug 12'16)
User reviews from different localisation also showing some kind of dissatisfaction.
Fig: Graphical representation of Prisma reviews and ratings in Apple Appstore (Jul 15 to Aug 12'16)
Fig: Graphical representation of Prisma reviews and ratings in Google Playstore (Jul 27 to Aug 12'16)
To stay in the market, only dozens of artistic filters are probably not going to work. Just have a look at Instagram. Within a short duration, they developed the similar feature like Snapchat that is added as Instagram Stories. So, it is hard to expect, how Prisma would be able to survive only as photo editing app where another one is serving the user with sharing option of social sharing platform.
Next is the limitation of their services in recreating the image to the user. Due to huge traffic, the servers sometimes run out of capacity and show error message. It has been constantly reported that the company needs to work on their servers efficiency very soon. Who likes to wait for times, right! Hopefully, they are going to fix that before their social hype sinks down.
Another challenge would be to capture the user base from Instagram (or Facebook, so to say!) Currently, Prisma has the option to save the image to user’s device or share it to Facebook and Instagram. Now wonder why, as Instagram is sort of ruling as image sharing network and targeting that user base is the marketing strategy. Moreover, until now, Prisma itself is not any media to share.
Establish a separate social network platform where people will share the recreated photos by Prisma. Obviously, it will be a big challenge again how many people will love to move to a new platform where they have already a large follower base in another network.
Target the commercial market. Marketers are a big power for any social network. They need to decide it now how to feed marketers and attract the people from different horizons - from celebrities to the general audiences.
Real-time image processing. iPhone and most android cameras have the built-in real-time filters. I do agree it should not be that much simple and do not expect that to be implemented very soon. But it will be a really cool feature for Prisma users.
Video processing. So far we have seen taking wonderful wedding photos using mobile cameras. Prisma Labs has already declared, they are working on the video and virtual reality (VR) version of the app. This time, creating music videos using hand-held devices will get new dimension if Prisma keeps its promise.
It is hard to foresee the future plan of Alexey Moiseenkov regarding the startup. Nevertheless, without solving those challenges, probably it would not be very easy task for Prisma to exist alone. While struggling only as a filter, it could just merge with Instagram as another addition to photo editing. Let’s say, it is sold to another parent company - still, the question arises - what is the chance that it will still stand alone as an individual app.
Now we can only wait and observe how Prisma steps forward and how its fate turns out.
Do you think the same? Or have some more to share. Drop me your words. :)