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Sometimes a site or service needs a new approach, or a little fresh paint. This would seem to be the case with Minus, formerly a simple cloud storage provider akin to Dropbox. Yesterday the company unveiled a new look and new direction: location-focused, social sharing of photos. It includes local chat features, with the new tagline "make friends near you." The revised app description sounds like a combination of Instagram and Foursquare. There are filters. There are stickers. There are likes.

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It's a pretty radical change in direction, and while there's no telling whether it will take off or not, a vocal subset of users are demonstrably unhappy. After using Minus as a pure photo sharing/hosting service, they were greeted with a social dashboard of photos posted near them, and encouraged to share their own. A quick look at the latest reviews reveals a lot more angry, frustrated people than anything else.

minus the love

We reached out to Minus before posting this story, and they assured us that they're interested in retaining users, to the point of providing the APK file for the older, more utilitarian app. At the time of writing, there's no link for the previous APK, so those who don't want the new interface should simply not update.

We do plan on supporting existing users on Android, they can download the old APK file or not upgrade. We also will support galleries on the website and plan on integrating more features to apps soon!
Hope you understand the pivot. Putting the twist on location based photos/people, and where we see biggest potential for future of Minus!!

Aside from the fact that this goes against the learned behavior of most Android users, it's a pretty telling indicator of the company's dedication to this new direction. Minus may be willing to lose the users who have expressed their distaste so far to gain a foothold in the booming (if not necessarily lucrative) social space. While it's easy to see why users who were sold on storage and backup are left with a bad taste in their mouth when fed photos and filters, it's not as if they don't have alternatives for both.

Those who want access to their cloud files can still download and upload using the Minus web interface.

Update: The APK file for the previous version of Minus can be found at this link.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    None of my old file uploads seem to be working anymore either...anyone find a way to delete your account?

    • ProductFRED

      Yeah, I had to email staff for this last month:

      "Please log into your account and set your profile description to 'Account Deletion'. Your account will be deleted shortly after."

      When you log in, click your username in the top right (there's a drop-down menu, but just click your username). Then put "Account Deletion" in the description.

      • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

        Thank you kind sir!

  • xsirxx

    I dont use Minus so forgive me if I am nieve on the topic. This sounds like a completely different application than the old one? Or atleast serves a completely different purpose? Are they in the same vein, or have I missed the boat on it? Sounds to me like just plain bad leadership issues and I hope they fix that quickly. Or maybe the old model wasnt sustainable.

  • ProductFRED

    What pisses me off about their site is that I made an account last year or two years ago just to try it out (when they were still a Dropbox-like site). Then someone recently tried to use the "Forgot Password" link several times to get into my [empty and unused] account. I tried to look for a "Delete Account" option, but they don't have one. I had to email the staff for them to finally tell me that I have to go through some weird process to flag my account for deletion.

    Every website should have a "Delete Account" button.


    Process for anyone who's interested:

    "Please log into your account and set your profile description to 'Account Deletion'. Your account will be deleted shortly."

    When you log in, click your username in the top right (there's a drop-down menu, but just click your username). Then put "Account Deletion" in the description.

  • flosserelli

    Even the "Add stickers & effects" girl appears to be giving Minus the bird.

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    dafuq minus? just release it as a different app and keep supporting the original app. you'd keep all of your existing customer base, while attracting new customers to the new app.

  • Sublevel

    what a delete option, on my android apps, in settings menu, i found a de-activate account, why pop up an email ....hope it works

  • Sublevel

    found a delete option, sorry for mistake

  • sublevel

    it works, my account has been deleted. On your android, setting de-activate account, that send an email, i just put in the email that i dont want a photo sharing but storage.
    they said, sorry and deleted my account.

  • fu minus

    where the hell are my files! thanks for no fucking waring. just delet what files i thought were important enough to back up