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Filtergram was intended as the quiet and tranquil Instagram without ads and distractions and a clear view of chronological posts. This was how it was supposed to work until it met its demise by Facebook last year.

The app also lets you mute certain keywords from appearing in your timeline and completely eliminated the like counter and comments and pictures. “Filtergram was supposed to be a very minimal Instagram viewer, you didn’t have any comments on there. You had the person’s caption just to give it a little context when it was uploaded. And then you had the ability just to favorite and unfavorite. And that was it.” – Ben Howdle, the software engineer from the U.K who build this app.

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Facebook did not take kindly to Filtergram’s behavior. Although Howdle isn’t quite sure how it happened, one-day Filtergram stopped working. Users could no longer refresh their feeds on the site, and all of Howdle’s attempts to restore the flow of content failed. 

Instagram’s hostile ecosystem

During the last few years, Instagram has been unwilling to let third-party apps to make requests and use content from them. They have blocked many small web apps without even giving a reason or explanation of how it happened. It’s sad to see that also happen to Filtergram.

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Instagram hasn’t allowed developers to re-create the kind of feed that users see in the official app. Although Instagram once offered a tool for this purpose, called the Feed API, it shut down that option in late 2015. Citing a need for “a more sustainable environment built around authentic experiences on the platform.”. This should change in the future, and something has to be done with Instagram’s powerful API.

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