Should Photographers Be Using Candid?

This week a new social network has really started promoting itself and seems to have amassed a fairly active user base, very quickly. Candid is an elegantly designed micro-blogging tool designed to focus discussion around specific topics rather than users, with the end goal of keeping everyone anonymous. The big question is, will it last or is it another wannabe network to be ignored? And most importantly, as photographers, is this a network that should be on our radar?

How It Works

Candid is aimed at helping users find topics that interesting so that they can discuss them. Rather than having you follow specific users, as is done by most social networks, you follow topics of interest, called groups. In your timeline you see posts created within those groups so that you can interact with those posts by either commenting, liking, or disliking. Furthermore, Candid operates under the concept that anonymity promotes freedom of expression, thus you are not allowed to choose a username. In fact, a random username is generated for you in every thread you are in. Only you know which posts are yours, there is no way to figure out who any of the other users may be as their usernames change from topic to topic. The format of the feed reminds me a lot like Twitter as it promotes small, concise ideas as posts. While there doesn't seem to be any heavy limitation on characters like Twitter, the vast majority of posts are about the size of a tweet. 

First Impressions

On the surface Candid is gorgeous; it is elegantly designed and feels smoother and faster than any of the major social networks. Its speed and simplicity even have a bit of charm to them. When you first sign up you are asked to provide some information they promise will be scrambled, though, I have to say I was a smidgen uncomfortable typing in my phone number.  It then suggests a large array of groups for you to join to get started. Presumably, Candid is using your Facebook data to intelligently predict suggestions. Personally, I was greeted with an array of photography topics along with a slew of political ones.

Candid To Promote Photography

In short, it's useless. If you were wondering if Candid would be the next tool you use to promote your business I'd suggest moving on. The forced anonymity of Candid makes promotional strategy range from difficult to impossible. In theory, you can still post promotional material within post text or images but from what I've experienced those posts largely get ignored. In general, I'd consider Candid pretty useless as a vessel for business growth.

Candid To Learn Photography

As a photography learning tool however, Candid does have some potential. I've seen a fairly frequent posting about techniques and gear which seems to inspire interesting discussion on them. There is certainly a learning opportunity within Candid, though, I'm not sure if it offers anything really special that you couldn't find elsewhere. There is also a fairly high frequency of inspirational images posted to the various photography groups I am in, but they don't offer anything that you can't experience on 500px.


After using Candid for about a week I feel that your probably don't need to waste your time with it. There is some potential for learning but that potential doesn't seem to bring anything new to the table. The vast majority of Candid's quickly grown user base mostly post to political topics so the frequency of photography topics tends to be tepid at best. And, as you probably have guessed, the forced anonymity of the platform means trolls are not in short supply. If you use Candid, expect to see many inflammatory, offensive posts on your timeline. In short, cool idea and elegantly delivery but Candid just isn't worth using for most Photographers.


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Bavarian DNA's picture

Thank you for the post bro.
As soon as i saw your article that day, i downloaded it and start exploring it.

What i found is that its really a general platform for almost everything, yet its still not mature enough and lack of professionals. So far it is to me like a teen platform that needs to grow. But it holds a good promise that one day might be something. So your conclusion is absolutely spot on about this App.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Glad it was helpful. I kinda felt the same. I think it might be interesting and the concept is really cool, though I can't ever see it being super useful for photography but I can certainly see it finding its niche in other places.