Does Foko, an Instagram for business, make any sense?

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I heard that a new ‘X is Y for business’ company was launching at Demo, in this case ‘FoKo is Instagram for business’. My initial reaction was ‘Do we need an Instagram for business?’ After all there are a million ways to share photos already, starting with Instagram, then file sync-and-share apps like Dropbox and Box, and up to and including work management tools like Yammer, Jive, and Podio that support image attachments in sophisticated ways. Still, I thought I’d take a look and see what Foko has to offer.

The app is currently available on iOS and Android devices, although reportedly a web version is coming too.

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I installed the free app on my iPhone. The app requires a corporate domain, but allowed me to share with a ‘partner and client’ who was on a Gmail address. However, I never was able to register with that address. I was able to register as an additional stoweboyd.com user, and pass comments on photos, and follow other users.

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The premise is that there are functional areas in the world of business where having a means to share files easily and securely — and comment on them in an Instagramish fashion — is a solid value proposition, one valuable enough that the company will pay for administrative options and controls.

Perhaps a small interior decorating company or catering service would like to be able to share photos of furniture and appetizers among staff and clients, and nothing more. However, perhaps because I am so certain that these photos need to be managed in the context of other information — projects, events, tasks, deadlines, and other conversations aside from comments on photos — I can’t see that this is enough.

Bottom Line

While the magic of ‘X is Y for business’ — like ‘Yammer is Facebook for business’ — seems like a good fit where Y = Instagram, I don’t think it holds with Foko. By bet is that the app will have to be extended   to include something like projects — which have been explicitly omitted as being too complicated — and maybe a lightweight task capability as well, so that photos can be organized in the context of something more than just a sequence of images.

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