This is the story of a lovely little web app called Filtergram, which met its demise last year after trying to make Instagram more tolerable.
Unlike Instagram’s own website, Filtergram let users view public posts in chronological order and mute specific keywords. It also omitted likes and comments from all posts, and it didn’t include any advertising. Filtergram even offered its own account system, separate from Instagram, so that users could set up news feeds without the pervasive web tracking that comes from being logged into Facebook’s system.
“Filtergram was supposed to be a very minimal Instagram viewer,” says Ben Howdle, the U.K.-based software engineer who created Filtergram in late 2018. “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.”
Facebook did not take kindly to Filtergram’s behavior. Although…