There are two distinct stories that precede this piece. One was the erstwhile Google Reader which, after decades of building trust and dependability, was shut down because Google did not find any sense keeping it. The other story is the well-known Instagram change of policy which caused an Internet furore.

Most users don’t recognize the risk underlying all free services on the web. One, your data can be used anytime (Facebook, Instagram: we’re looking at you) and two, the app you use might end its service leaving you high and dry! Solution?

That’s what John Saddington of Pressgr.am likes to answer with this new app that released on the App Store recently.

Pressgram iPhone app

Pressgr.am is an app that lets you “filter and share images to your own WordPress-powered website”. As a concept, it doesn’t bring new features to the table. Adding filters to iPhone photos has been solved multiple times.

Pressgram iPhone app Review

But where Pressgr.am stands out and tall is in the solid philosophy of data-ownership. While most other apps of this type let you publish photos to their own websites/servers, with Pressgr.am you get full control of where your photo goes and it goes only to your WordPress-powered websites/blogs. (of course, with optional Facebook/Twitter share).

I’m not here to write a glorified review of what the app is (in technical terms) but here’s the gist of the most important features of Pressgr.am for iPhone/iPad:

What Pressgr.am Does:

Pressgr.am is all about capturing photos, adding filters to make them dramatic and then share them with the world – through your WordPress-powered website. This is the core functionality that Pressgr.am is built with.

There are a ton of things that Pressgr.am does:

  • Filters are good. They’re stock and if you like to experiment with them, you’ll be excited to use Pressgr.am’s filters.
  • The social aspect is top-notch: It’s a community out there and it’s so much like Instagram in terms of the social concept. So you won’t feel like you’re using a different app. Only, this time your data is completely yours and under your control.
  • The app interface is iOS 7-centric even though the initial designs “kickstarted” almost an year ago. This will be cool when the app launches officially for iOS 7.
  • Commenting, liking, news feed, friends photos and activity: there’s every bit of “socialness” that you’d want out of an app like this. Pressgr.am is one of those apps that drives engagement by employing simplicity.

The story of Pressgr.am and the way the developer has turned his “itch” into something universally and most-currently relevant is as much interesting as the app itself.

Pressgr.am is John’s first Kickstarter project with a funding of over $50,000 (the goal). His tales of the development cycle are worth reading (you’ll find a ton of nuggets if you’re an iOS developer).

Pressgr.am is definitely “our” Instagram. It’s the app that values data ownership and rights as much as other apps do not value them. And it’s one free app that has the best shot at kicking the big players in the balls. I, for one, sure want to see how things turn out.

Download Pressgr.am