Russians are planning a melancholic version of Instagram after the ban: “Grustnogram”
A melancholy black-and-white alternative to Instagram that asks users to post sad photos of themselves could launch in Russia this week, its makers have said, to express sadness at the loss of popular services such as the American photo-sharing platform.
Russia restricted access to Instagram from March 14 and later found its owner Meta Platforms Inc guilty of “extremist activities”, as Moscow fights to control information flows with Big Tech after sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24. the decision to block it would affect 80 million users in Russia. Although people can still sometimes
accessing the photo-sharing platform using a virtual private network, national alternatives began to appear, the latest being “Grustnogram” or “Sadgram” in English. “Post sad photos of yourself, show them to your sad friends, be sad together,” reads the platform’s website.
An image of the app’s intended user interface showed a woman in a fur coat in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square. The search bar directs users to search
sad compatriots. Instead of Instagram’s heart-shaped “Like” button, Grustnogram offers a broken heart and the option to “be sad.” “We are very sad that many high quality and popular services
stop working in Russia for various reasons,” Afisha Daily quoted Alexander Tokarev, one of the service’s founders, as saying.
“We created Grustnogram to grieve together and support each other.” Tokarev said four people, including two freelance programmers, were behind the project and said he expected the
app to appear on Google Play by the end of the week, and later on the App Store. Rossgram, an Instagram knockoff in terms of name, design and colors, was supposed to launch this week, but its founders only managed to post a video of a prototype a few hours after the scheduled launch time.