Tips + Tricks

Instagram is for the public moment, Ponga is for private memories.

Why Not Just Share Photos on Social Media?

Instagram is for the public moment, Ponga is for private memories.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are great for publicly sharing fleeting moments or publicly celebrating a feeling. They create a social network by letting you connect with public figures and like-minded people in public. In that sense, it’s like a public square. Ponga pictures can be much more personal and are designed to remain private.

When the conversations that nurture bonds in a family are shared in the public square, problems can arise (as anyone from a small town knows.) Since family members already know each other and have a sense of context. Incidentally revealing the Personally Identifiable Information (or PII) that routinely flows in these kinds of conversations could put everyone at risk.

Innocuous conversations about birthdays, weddings, memorials and other celebrations of life, can inadvertently reveal private information about you or your loved ones. This information can make you a target for advertisers — or worse, fraudulent “phishing” attacks. You don’t want that risk.

Ponga starts from a premise that’s completely different from social media—privacy.

With Ponga, what’s yours is yours. We’ll help you add to your memories and bring others in to contribute to the story. Together you’ll capture a larger history to share with your extended family.

Our paid membership approach allows our members to invite as many guests as they like. Our members know better what kinds of information can be shared with whom. We focus on making pictures, and the context that tells the story, easy to share but always private.

Want to share pictures you’ve discovered of your great grandparents with your cousins on the Jones side? Create an album and toss in the pictures. Invite all of the cousins you know.

As your guests, your cousins can freely add comments, attach pictures, nd record stories. If they become members, they can add their own pictures to the album too. Find the email addresses for a few more cousins, add them to the album too.

In this way, you’ll use Ponga the way you might use shared groups in MMS, iMessage, or WhatsApp to share memories. However, because only a link is actually shared, your recipients don’t get a copy of your images. They can’t innocently forward or modify them. And they stay private.

Private pictures, not private social media groups or accounts

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have private accounts and groups. They work as described. With their advertising-supported business model, however, these private accounts are simply private as compared with their standard accounts and groups.

With a private Facebook group, your pictures may not turn up in some stranger’s search, but Facebook still uses your images and the comments to advertise to you. Anyone within private groups can also download images.

Instagram's private account feature gives an owner the ability to selectively allow followers. Since it’s on an account basis, however, you can’t share pictures some pictures with some people and not others.

High-resolution images you control

Ponga accepts the major image file types, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF, in any resolution, at any file size. That means that you don’t have to worry about downsizing an original to fit within a size budget or losing resolution with storage. Have that 50MB scanned TIFF file you’re afraid of losing, not a problem, we’ve got this.

Sharing as a link

Using links instead of image files means that we’ve got you covered for convenience and privacy. With Ponga, you don’t share the actual image, you share a link. This is both convenient and more private. If you are working with a consultant for example, to help date an image, the large size of a high-resolution TIFF scan is helpful, sharing it with her in a Ponga picture makes it very convenient. It’s much faster than uploading and downloading a 50MB+ image file and you get contextual feedback that’s documented. Further, it’s more private. Once you’ve gotten the feedback you’re looking for, you can remove the consultant as a contributor. If the consultant hits the link after you’ve removed them, they’re politely turned away. Family comments are not shared, the door is politely closed to the outside world.

We actively participate in the public square of social media as a way to learn from others and engage in conversations about family history, genealogy, and ethnographies. Come along and join us on your favorite social media plaform. Learn more at

reminder bell

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