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Import from Instagram #765
I don't want to sound overly-critical. I'm all in favour of Open-Sourcery and providing alternatives to the big data-slurping websites out there. So I was excited to learn about Pixelfed. But...
That excitement lasted for as long as it took me to realise there's no way to import existing photos from Instagram.
It never fails to amaze me that so many developers seem to think that simply providing a more ethical alternative to the privacy-raping big boys out there is sufficient incentive to get people to switch to your new product. Even if doing so means they need to abandon all the time and effort they've put into building up a 'portfolio' / 'archive' / 'following' / 'history' [call it what you will] on the sites you're hoping to replace. Almost all such open source projects make a point of emphasising "no lock in" and assuring you you can get your data out at any time. Yet none of them seem to provide any strategy for importing your existing data from rival sites, in the first place.
And yet, this keeps on happening:
App.net, Diaspora, Quitter... [to name but three that I've used in the past] ...all offering open-source or ad-free alternatives to the big players. But none of them considering it important to provide any way for new users to bring their "stuff" with them from the existing sites. And all three projects subsequently dead or dying from lack of interest and users. [and I fully expect the current poster boy for open source Social Networking, Mastodon, to go the same way, for the same reason].
Seriously devs. I know this isn't a specific issue per se. But you really need to consider this as a top priority, if Pixelfed is to have a snowball's chance in hell of gaining any traction at all.
Your product might be the most ethical, most open-source, most libertarian project in the world. But Instagram have several years and several hundred million users' head start on you. Expecting people to just abandon everything they've put into their Instagram accounts over the years and flock to Pixelfed instead is both incredibly naive and borders on insulting. It's effectively saying to them that you consider all that prior work they've done to be worthless.
Just my well-meaning tuppence worth. Feel free to close and mark as irrelevant, if you wish.
@madranet IG import has been on the roadmap for awhile, https://mastodon.social/@pixelfed/100087667113289786
It's currently delayed, because having a stable release is a prerequisite for importing content from other platforms. Importing from Instagram when the background workers aren't done yet would be a bad move. Reopened this issue to track updates to the Instagram importer!