Instagram is a mess right now, and users – including Kim Kardashian – are dissatisfied about it. The company is trying to cram too many features into the app, such as Reels, Remixes, Algorithmic Channel, and NFT. Ansh Nanda and Hardik Patil were so frustrated that they decided to create an app called The OG App that provides users with an Instagram feed without ads or suggestions.
The OG app – available for iOS and Android – doesn’t try to create a new social network. Instead, it just tailors the Instagram feed to the choice of users. Users can log into their Instagram account and it shows the home feed right away. But the app removes ads and suggested posts from their main feeds.
In addition, it allows users to create alternative channels and share them with their friends. Think of them like Twitter lists, but Instagram. For example, you can create different channels for food, cocktails, tennis, movie stars, and photographers without keeping track of all these accounts. Users can select the default channel at startup. In this way, users can give priority to another list over their own home channel. This is useful if your interest feed will have more engaging content than the default feed.
The app also has an option that stops the feed from downloading new content for 24 hours. This option works like a digital feel-good feature that prevents users from constantly checking Instagram. They can still check posts that have already been downloaded in all feeds, along with saved posts.
Nanda and Patil founded Un1feed, the company that publishes the OG app, last June and started working on social media apps to provide a cleaner experience. They chose Instagram first because they think it has the most convoluted feed filled with ads. The pair met while working at KiranaKart, a grocery delivery app that is now known as Zepto, and raised $ 200 million at a valuation of $ 900 million in May.
Nanda and Patil said they wanted to restore more control of their channels to the company’s users.
“We’ve seen social media impact our friends and family and even remove apps because they don’t have enough options to modify what they see. We wanted users, not advertisers, to be the first with this app. We started with Instagram because we thought the app had the most toxic relationship with users, ”the founders said in an interview with TechCrunch.
Nanda said the company has spoken to hundreds of users and said Instagram users are dissatisfied with the default social network experience. The company faced a lot of criticism for giving priority to content suggested by algorithms over posts by friends and family. In July, the social network had to undo the changes it made using an algorithmic channel.
Un1feed received $ 1 million in pre-seed funding led by Ali Partovi of Neo and involving Tribe Capital, Great Oaks VC, Global Asset Capital, Pareto20 and Cory Levy. Co-founders told TechCrunch that the company currently doesn’t want to burden its users or find other earning opportunities. Eight people work in the startup, including Nanda and Patil.
In the coming weeks, developers are looking to roll out features such as custom channels with private accounts, sharing custom channels with friends, and downloading stories for offline consumption. In addition, they will soon allow users to sort any channel with filters such as “newest”, “hottest” and “best of the week / month / all”. The app developers also plan long-term features such as sharing collections as channels and creating shared channels.
While social media companies strive to give users more control over their channels, they often have to resort to third-party apps for the best social networking experience. Instance has clients such as Apollo, Joey, and Boost for Reddit, and Tweetbot and Talon for Twitter. The OG app wants to provide a similar modifiable experience to Instagram users.
All of these customers have to rely on the APIs provided by the underlying social network. Twitter has repeatedly crippled external customers over the past decade by restricting its API. But the founders of The OG App said they are not worried about any changes to Instagram’s API at the moment and are focused on building a solid product for users.