Is Hipstamatic Done For?


For my first blog post I’d like to discuss both my love for and my frustration with the wonderful photo app: Hipstamatic.

I’ve shot with every photographic format (film) out there but I have to admit a love and fascination for my iPhone 6S Plus and its incredible camera. I’ve taken and seen so many breathtaking images with its camera, some of which were simply not possible with conventional cameras 20 years ago.

Hipstamatic is a photo app designed to give you that retro film camera feel complete with different films and lenses. The shear number of film and lens combinations is incredible and allows for a level of creativity that transcends traditional photography. You can now add an effect that can completely alter the look and/or the mood of your images instead of just taking the shot and using the limited number effects that the standard iPhone camera provides or using Instagram.

I’ve read various articles explaining the inside troubles plaguing Hipstamatic which started in late 2014 with the app re-design called Hipstamatic 300. Instagram was the main competitor and with its simple and easy to use design took the smartphone camera community by storm leaving Hispstamatic in its digital wake.

In response to Instagram Hipstamatic launched another app called Oggl which was basically a clone design of Instagram using the Hipstamatic films and lenses making ALL of them available for a yearly fee of $9.99. This would also include access to any new films and lenses as they become available. I have a question though: Why create another app? Why not just redesign the original Hipstamatic app and give people the option for subscription or to buy what lenses and films they like?

Hipstamatic realized that it would be a good idea to add the features available with Oggl with a re-design to its original app. Hipstamatic 300 now would allow users to add films and lenses to an image after it was taken instead of during like the original app. Users can also now choose between the classic interface and one like Oggl’s. A new built-in “Darkroom Suite” offers a solid collection of editing features with more than twenty adjustment tools. However at this point Oggl should have been scrapped and all current subscribers merged with the Hipstamatic 300 app removing the confusion and the need for 2 separate apps. Why not just add a subscription model (option) to Hipstamatic 300 and eliminate Oggl? This IMO has really hurt Hipstamatic.

I convinced the special lady in my life Carol to try Oggl out and she loved it except for the fact that she was unable to add any of the films and lenses to her collection. This problem was reported to Hipstamatic back in June of this year and has still not been resolved. We have received numerous replies from support which are mostly: “So and so is out of town right now and he’s the ONLY person here who can fix the problem” Apparently there are only 2 people at Hipstamatic in support and one is on a permanent vacation. In any case, neither one has fixed this very bad bug. This doesn’t bode well for the Oggl app or Hipstamatic.

Is Hipstamatic done for? The signs are there and I believe the company is basically out of business. No new products. No new blog posts since June of this year. Non existent customer support. This tells me that the end of Hipstamatic is imminent which would be a tragedy because I think it’s the most creative and amazing photo app available today. Instagram may be easy to use and the most popular but that doesn’t make it better.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!