Smartphone photography app Hipstamatic has morphed into a new app, Oggl, as the original photo-editing app moves toward becoming more social. The refreshed app overhauls many of the design and usability functions of the original Hipstamatic, but some have suggested the rebrand is designed as a strategy to avoid the potential for consumer backlash.
Oggl has been unveiled to show itself as a redesign of Hipstamatic, but with a more social focus that the company expects will carry its growth forward in the coming years. But with so many users still loyal to the Hipstamatic service, there are understandable concerns about whether such a dramatic change to the user experience could cost user numbers.
Consumer backlash has been a common feature of wholesale tech upgrades of late, with both Facebook and Gmail amongst the most high-profile victims of user disdain. While change is essential for technologies to progress, some users still feel uncomfortable with the changes that are being made.
This has led some to consider whether Hipstamatic’s choice of a new brand identity was designed more exclusively to prevent this kind of outcry from its user base. The new app, Oggl, is essentially a replica of the original Hipstamatic app, only with some notable differences in design, feel and, to a certain extent, functionality.
While the sector is still dominated by Instagram, Hipstamatic is not without its own loyal base of followers, who continue to use the service to the tune of 60 million photos every month. The change sees a development of the Hipstamatic service, but the clean branding is designed to allow a distinction to be created between the photo-editing service and the social network.
The social side of Oggl is arguably the app’s main selling point, designed to connect users from across the world through a shared passion for photography. Its customizable templates allow user to position filters over their images, to achieve several instantly stylized looks.
Designed for use with the iPhone, the original Hipstamatic app is credited as one of the early digital forces in the retro photography trend, which has spawned a series of other serious online competitors. The app comes with its own pre-loaded filters, while others are available for purchase to extend the functionality of the app and the range of filters available.
Some analysts have suggested that the move by Hipstamatic towards an alternative brand identity is a bold solution to the change dilemma. With users becoming dependent on app functionality, tinkering with the formula can cause friction with existing users that ultimately costs developers money.
App developers like Simplikate.com in Miami FL are on the front line with apps and new technologies, and should be the first to know if others try to recreate Hipstamatic’s move.
The Hipstamatic developers are throwing everything into the Oggl launch, in the hope that the app solidifies the middle ground between app and social network. With mobile photography as popular as ever, the relaunch could be a good opportunity for Hipstamatic to secure the benefits of both options.