“PhotoSteem”: Instagram on steroids built on Steem blockchain

A GIF demonstranting PhotoSteem in action
PhotoSteem in action

http://steem.photos — PhotoSteem: Instagram on steroids built on Steem blockchain

As an experiment, I’ve decided to built a photo sharing application on top of the Steem blockchain!

Feel free to go ahead and get a picture of the photographic world what you might have been missing out a bit here :), now online on a very early beta version at: http://steem.photos

Some features are not yet implemented, but be aware that the following is already working, so play with care, as the actions will be reflected on your account here also, and other Steem services that share the same blockchain data.

  • List of the photos in the “hot” category
  • List of photos in the “trending” category
  • List of photos in the “new” category
  • Voting
  • Resteeming
  • Login/Logout (The application name when logging in through steemconnect it’s the same as my Steem username for now)

The motivation for this project was at the same time a need to explore more about blockchain development, but also, being myself a photographer on a hobby level, the frustration of using services like instagram where every photo is a square image and there’s not really a focus on the photography community; besides of course that on Steem you can actually make money from your work and built yourself around a new and exciting marketplace.

Now, around the existing Steem applications, it is already a good place to find new amazing content, but not a specific media content like photos; in fact, while using the app myself I’ve found a completely new world right here with amazing photos and photographers; it was exciting to me to realize that there is already high quality photo content ready to be served and viewed in a more focused and specific mechanism and platform.

As I was building and developing it became clear that I can only go that much far alone; there are some very specific needs to build a proper photo sharing application like this one where the focus is on the photographic world and its needs. For example, one very important need is a high performant dedicated storage service for uploading and serving these images; you might experience now a bit of slow loading times due do that.

I expect to continue to work on it, at least if I get to grab some support; because it also brings me fun, I can contribute to the community and actually I really want to post pictures directly into Steem from my mobile, so this is what I would like to do next:

  • Upload picture(s) directly in the app trough camera action on mobile and regular upload on desktop
  • View author/own profile
  • Follow/Unfollow
  • Commenting
  • Sharing
  • Promoting
  • Notifications
  • Wallet
  • Settings

There are some specific constraints that will need to be resolved in order for this project to move forward, and for those I’ll need some form of support; and you can, of course, support the development of this and other applications around here!


  • Time
  • Proper infrastructure dedicated to photo upload and management
  • Proper server with ssl and cdn support to serve the application
  • Dedicated support for native application development for mobile
  • Lot’s of coffee!

On the spirit of community and open source I share here also the source code for this project available at: https://github.com/voxmachina/photosteem

This project would be a lot more painful if it wasn’t for the excellent already build tools that have supported me building this platform:

Leave a Reply