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OKDOTHIS review: An app to make your Instagrams interesting

OKDOTHIS gives you inspiration for your Instagram submissions by coming up with projects that make you think before you post.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
5 min read

Editors' note: This review was updated on December 5, 2013, with more detailed information we received about specific features from the developers of the app.



The Good

<b>OKDoThis</b> forces the user to rethink taking the standard "Instagram-like" photos. The app is a refreshing take on mobile photography.

The Bad

I would prefer to see fewer Dos promoted by the staff of OKDoThis to get higher-quality photos rather than a large quantity of user photos.

The Bottom Line

If you're bored and tired of the same old stuff being posted to Instagram, OKDoThis is for you, challenging you to take different photos that you'd normally overlook.

OKDoThis is the latest app to enter into the mobile photography space with a new twist for Instagram users. With a crowded market and new apps popping up almost daily, the fresh approach OKDoThis takes to chasing the success of Instagram is very appealing.

The first thing you'll need to do after installing OKDoThis is set up an account. The account creation process is a breeze if you have either a Facebook or Twitter account set up on your iPhone. By combining your account information, and asking you to fill in a few more fields, the entire setup process takes only a couple of minutes. Of course you can dive deeper into adding a bio and filling in even more information if you'd like, but for those of us who like to dive right into the app can do so without much work.

As a brief tutorial you're asked to complete one Do; don't worry, you won't have to post the photo you take unless you want to. The premise behind OKDoThis allows for users to create Dos that could lead to some interesting (if not amazing) photos. For example, the Do I had to complete during setup was to snap a photo of whatever was directly behind my iPhone at the time. The photo ended up being a boring photo of my desktop and a cleaning cloth, but in a different setting it could have lead to an interesting photo.

OKDOTHIS gives you Instagram inspiration (pictures)

See all photos

Think outside the box
The Dos are where the magic of OKDoThis reside. Right now nearly everyone is using Instagram to some extent, or has at least seen an unhealthy amount of Instagram photos across social networks and on Web sites. The saturation level of Starbucks cups, puppies, sunsets and plates of food is at an all time high. What OKDoThis forces you to do is step outside that comfort zone and look at the process of framing and taking a photo on your iPhone differently.

A good example of a Do that encourages creative thinking is "Things you find on the ground." Normally when walking somewhere, even in your own home, you step over objects that might make for a decent photo. By bookmarking this Do, you force yourself to remember to look at items on the ground through a camera lens. Metaphorically, of course. Don't actually walk around with your camera open looking at random junk on the ground. In my time with the app, having a task in mind was a revitalizing approach to otherwise stale mobile photography.

The OKDoThis team features popular Dos on a daily basis. Currently autumn and winter themed tasks are amongst the most popular.

There are a total of ten categories for you to browse through, or you can create your own Do at any time. When you find a task you want to complete, you can bookmark it. By bookmarking it you'll have quick access to the Do and can quickly complete it should the opportunity present itself.

Of course there are also filters
A photo app in 2013 wouldn't be complete without some sort of filters, and OKDoThis is no exception. The unique twist this app takes with filters is in the amount of filters that can be applied. Users can apply up to three filters (out of fourteen total) to a photo submitted through the app.

You can import photos from your Camera Roll or snap a photo directly in the app, and then apply your filter(s) of choice. By following users you can browse feeds and view photos others have submitted. Or if you'd like you can browse through all the photos submitted to the same task, and OK them (instead of like or heart).

Please limit the amount of Dos
My biggest concern with the way Dos are currently added to the app is -- that as the app continues to grow in popularity -- the Dos are going to start to feel like spam. The team contacted me shortly after this review went live to clarify that they do curate all Dos in the Discovery section, as well as the approved Dos in the categories section.

There are already a number of Dos within the app that are one-off, not broad appealing tasks a user created. Sure, the better Dos will naturally rise to the top, but wading through a list of topics like "Cheeseballs" (and the like) isn't a welcoming experience. Don't get me wrong, cheeseballs are a tasty snack, but how many people are going to post photos of them? Wait, don't answer that.

What I would like to see instead are fewer topics, perhaps allowing the top members of the community to add Dos, or a submission process where the top 10 Dos are selected and featured each week. I get why crowdsourcing Dos is important to the OKDoThis app and the community it's building, but at some point it's going to be too much, and cheapen the entire experience.

When it comes to tasks and challenges within the app, I feel that less is more; the fewer Dos listed, the better quality of photos that will be submitted.

For just under $2 you can join the OKDoThis movement and take a step away from the repetitive nature of Instagram. Unless you're constantly changing who you follow on the network, your feed is likely very predictable. I admit I am guilty of posting the same types of photos over and over, just from a different setting each time, so this app is a good step in the right direction for me.

OKDoThis forces you to step outside of your mobile photography comfort zone and learn a new approach to capturing moments with your smartphone. Heck, there's even a group for professional photographers who want to post pictures taken with professional cameras. In other words, this service is all about going beyond what's become the norm for mobile photo sharing, and after spending some time with it, I dig it.



Score Breakdown

Setup 9Features 7Interface 8Performance 9