However, “Make Websites from a Phone” is an illusive target. I’ve had a startup circa 2013 with a somewhat similar focus. It got to a working MVP (sort of) and VC term-sheet before it imploded. All that’s left is this video (https://vimeo.com/68029789). There have been multiple other teams/products trying to crack the same nut, generally without success, or with success that is significantly smaller than what the desktop platforms (wix, strikingly etc.) have had in same time period.
The “You Only Link Once” and Instagram focus are a smart angle. Hope this one flys.
You're totally right that it's not necessarily a straight forward space. Constraining any complicated job (and websites are actually quite complicated) into a space where data entry is a hassle, fine tune controls are difficult, and it's hard to see the output at the same time as doing the creation task ... eek!
That said, I'm excited about the direction the app has taken as it has good potential for simply UX.
The other company in the space that's doing a neat job (and not in your list) is Universe! They've also got a really novel take on things.
Anyhow, thanks again for giving it a whirl!!
It means that we get to try to focus on making one experience strong. That said, ultimately the user is providing data which is independent of the look, so evolving a desktop variant is totally doable.
We're (currently) keen to not necessarily run towards traditional responsive design. The reason being that you have a lot of design consequences / unintentional visual limitations - it's one of the reasons a lot of websites kind of look the same, especially from website builders and tools (they go heavy on block layouts to make it easy to deal with responsive).
All that said, it's iteration 1, and our launch is really a 'beta' launch more than anything.
Would you mind elaborating on what you think those limitations are?
I feel like it’s easy to say ‘nah we don’t do responsive’ instead of figuring out a way do just do it. I can’t come up with a single example that I couldn’t translate from mobile to desktop in some way.
As the foundation of this app is the idea that a user can just switch layout/visuals, it needs a lot of visual looks to switch between. Doing a lot of those, and having the responsiveness, and then iterating on app/data model features (which need updates to those designs) is quite a drain on speed.
All that said, since you asked for a single _actual_ example, I have one which I think is quite problematic (though could be addressed in some way, just not easily). We've kicked around the idea of letting users place stickers over the top of their design in order to customise them (a little like Instagram Stories), it's not obvious how to migrate a user input visual through a responsive set of designs without a lot of trouble (the most obvious solution being to guess and then let the user tweak at different responsive breaks).
Hopefully that convinces you that it wasn't just a throwaway 'nah we don't do responsive' :) I'm sure we could do better than where we currently are, and it is an iteration one release!
Disclosure: I wrote a lot of the code to power the wrap frontend, but I'm no longer involved with any of it.
I just started skiing late this season, so I intend to work on correcting both mistakes in the next one.
Follow me on Instagram! ;)
Just my $0.02 — $9/mo and it's a done deal... Later.com offers that linkin.bio which starts from their $19.90/mo plan (I use Buffer though for my agency's marketing contracts)
This one's super lightweight, can probably be optimised (if it isn't already) to be even more lightweight. Fantastic. Join us at Reddit.com/r/saas (I'm a moderator there) and tell us the story — anything u need, let me know
$1.99/mo for limited concurrent users / bandwidth
$9.99/mo for premium with """unlimited""" users / bandwidth
I'm obviously wrong as there are successful examples like universe out there. But boy does it show me that I'm often completely detached from the consumer in these instances.
These days I try to assume I probably don't understand! For the start of this product, we had a Design Sprint where we came up with the idea, and then brought in real Instagram users to test the idea on (with very lowfi prototypes) befor actually building!
We could learn so much more in life and have such better interactions if this were the default condition going into the unknown.
“Maybe there’s something here to be learned”
Through that lens: is the number of businesses/people that need a website builder greater than the number of them with access to a desktop computer? For the US, I'd say no. But in Asia I can see this being the case.
"Turn your link in bio into an Insta website."
I could see that catching up, though it would still of course be a limited audience.
And also that they did such a nice job with the design and the branding. Would be easier to be more critical if it didn't look that nice.
What the heck does that even mean?
So the pitch here is, I think—make a full website to accompany your instagram posts, just as easily as you posted the photo itself.
“Love my new custom Yeti cooler on road trips like this! Link in bio”
You cannot post URLs in your post, but you can in your bio.
IG makes its money on advertising inside of the platform. As a result, they want to limit the ability of creators' to create their own ads by linking out to non-IG properties.
Anyway, you know what’s best for your product. Great work on what you’ve done so far.
Why stick with this weird format instead of some responsive grid/flex design? Why only limit to two slide pages? It seems like you guys reinventing wheel here and burdening yourself with unecessary restrictions.
I swear the first person to adapt hugo/lektor/pelican for casual mobile markets will strike gold. It's a static website that you can charge like 2$/month and still have a 90% profit margin.
Sorry if I come out negative but Milkshake looks a bit of a wasted opportunity here.
- shot of instagram profile page, with highlighted link to website
- shot of what that website looks like
"oh, that's what this is for." and maybe even more specifically: why do you need one of these? so you can sell shit.
In hindsight, I see how "Insta website" was trying to convey this, but it wasn't clear to me that "Insta" was referring specifically to Instagram /directly/--I thought it was just millenial-hip short of "instant."
And "turn your link in bio into" I at first parsed as "turn your linkedin bio into." Then I was like "oh I guess that's not a typo" but I still wasn't sure which bio it was referring to and it seemed like odd phrasing.
Then I hit "Pick a card. Cards are..." and was like "ugh, yep, this is very much a hip app thing i'm not going to understand." instead of leading with a vocab word and then defining it, just skip the vocab word and use its definition. "Pick a page template. Visitors can swipe between your pages just like an instagram story."
(obviously, i'm an old soul and don't really understand instagram. maybe "card" is already more familiar than "page" for instagram folks?)
So, the only suggestion I'd like to give (without having used it) is that is it possible to make it so simple that folks could create websites from messaging apps like WhatsApp?
PS With Firefox+uMatrix I'm unable to view the video on your landing page. Just thought you should know if you choose to fix it.
(And thanks for the bug report, will get it sorted)
However, I wonder if these website builders are a fallacy. If you make money with your business get a team building your custom site, if not just put your opening times right on Google Business without having a website. A half-baken website also done with a builder is still work and if nobody drives by, why the hassle?
And most builders I know still have subpar mobile responsiveness. How is Milkshake in this regard? Are there any examples?
Pricing wise, we've been thinking to delay until we see traction. The cost of hosting the sites is fairly trivial because they are static output, which means we can let it grow for a while before introducing some kind of paid something (extra cards, or extra looks, or domains).
PS: Super cool app and execution
There were many mobile site builders in WAP era.
I did not have my own PC and it was easiest way to build something as alternative would be to go to library.
Good times. It's nice this stuff is re-born.
This can be starting point for Young folks in programming!
Every wannabe influencer on instagram (literally millions of people globally) is going to want one of these—-especially given the design aesthetic that hits the target market right between the eyes. We’re talking about 17 yr old kids here, not enterprise customers. The lower the friction and the more simple it is, the better.
This is going to take off like crazy and I’m both jealous I didn’t make it first and also sad that I’m not an investor.
And yes, I also thought you meant instantaneous homepage creation :)
Seeing that Instagram only requires the age of 13, I wonder if teens will actually bother with permission from their parents/guardians to use Milkshake. Or is this something that will only be enforced after being revealed as under 18? And why 18?
That sounds wrong though
> That sounds wrong though
In what way?
My mobile data provider seems to block incoming packets... (but I can receive if initiated from my phone (as in ftp), so maybe it's just that my IP address isn't known?) I couldn't work it out.
If you are on IPV6 you most probably will have public unique IP and should be able to access a website hosted on phone without any issue. ISP might not be explicitly blocking incoming packets. NAT was a necessary evil that we needed when we had limited address space. We should move to Ipv6 as early as possible and kill NAT. I think that will open up tonne of opportunities.
One suggestion: I found the whole term "Insta website" to be more confusing than helpful. I think of Insta as short for Instagram so it confused me to keep seeing it in another context. Honestly, I don't think you even need to define that term. Just focus on the benefits and why the user, as an Instagram user, should want a great page linked on their profile. "Get a profile page like all the top influencers...", "Grow your other social profiles...", etc.
Just a suggestion, hope the idea works out!
So Adobe Spark lets you grab pre-made, somewhat professional looking templates abd make basic edits to colors and typography. It's a much faster and less rigorous workflow than what a designer would go through to create pro content for IG/Twitter.
msha.ke is shorter than milksha.ke
Or were you thinking of another domain?
Been here forever, fantastic to use with or without phone :).
This one is a mix. I have a side project running an Instagram account so had seen first hand a lot of the needs you run into with a single link in bio, plus all the different neat linking solutions (shout out to another Australian company - Linktree!).
So when it came up in Dec that we were thinking of an angle on the website market, and our marketer suggested we think about Instagram, it all clicked.
(stoked that someone remembers that talk :)
(14 views ... was a popular talk :-D
For what it's worth I think it's long overdue that there was a good way to produce actual websites for those who only have/use phones. As far as I can tell though, this is much more limited in scope.
Hopefully from here we can iterate to a bigger scope (without overblowing it :-)
(very pumped that it's on HN's homepage :-)