fork2If you’re on Instagram or Facebook, you likely have those friends who just love posting pictures of food they eat. In fact, even I am occasionally guilty of this practice, once making it onto the “Picture of Asians Taking Pictures of Food” Tumblr — a crowning achievement for my food picture-taking resume.

For those that both snap pictures of their meals or simply enjoy seeing countless images of food — also known as food porn — there’s a new mouth-watering app out there that you may like.

Built in Seattle, Fork is essentially Instagram, but for food. Yep, that’s right — no pictures of the sunset, no annoying selfies. Just food.

Yet it’s not just any food. Fork is focused on meals that people have made at home, and it’s how co-founder Mark Briggs thinks Fork differentiates itself from competitors like Foodspotting or Chewsy.

“We decided to stay away from the recipe and restaurant discovery spaces because they are already super crowded in terms of apps,” Briggs told us on our radio show last month. “We’re trying to be the inspiration and focusing more on in-home creation. We’re allowing people to take pride in those food victories they have when you create something really cool and want to share it, but not bug your Facebook friends.”

fork3Briggs conceived of the idea inside “Dad’s SteakHouse” — a.k.a. his kitchen — after his nine-year-old daughter Ellie began sticking Post-It notes on the wall describing each dinner the family ate, noting whether or not they liked Dad’s cooking or not.

“After a few days I had a wall full of Post-It Notes with information and ideas about what to make for dinner — and what my kids liked,” Briggs said. “I thought, ‘I wish I had that on my iPhone.'”

So, Briggs reached out to a couple friends to work on development (Scott Falconer) and design (Lauren Rabaino). Lots of work, some stressful nights and a year-and-a-half later, Fork is now in the App Store.

While people do occasionally post on Fork from restaurants and places outside their own kitchen, so far Briggs has heard lots of positive feedback specifically about home-cooked meals.

“Some of those early test users have told me that they actually cook more interesting meals and eat better because of Fork,” said Briggs, who is also the Director of Digital Media at KING5. “We have discovered that it’s gratifying to share food stories with friends and it turns out that it’s also motivating. If people who use the app find more happiness through food, that would be awesome.”

Left to right: Scott Falconer, Lauren Rabaino and Mark Briggs of Fork.
Left to right: Scott Falconer, Lauren Rabaino and Mark Briggs of Fork.

While I know lots of people who might enjoy Fork — which is only on iOS for now — there are others who may not think quite as highly of this app. This New York Times piece penned earlier this year discussed restaurant owners who frown upon people taking pictures of their food, with some even banning the practice from their establishments. 

Then there are those who share similar thoughts to Katherine Markovich, who wrote a scathing and equally hilarious viral post lambasting people who take pictures of food.

But those complaints are largely from photos taken outside the house. Maybe there’s something different and unique about sharing home-cooked meals — after all, nearly 80 percent of Americans are eating at home each day. If so, Fork may have found itself a niche here in an already-crowded space.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go find some food because writing about this is making me extremely hungry.

Comments

  • http://www.timreha.com/ Tim Reha

    Food porn tools for the masses! Do you have CV & machine learning on the back-end of this? Good luck Mark & team. I will send to my wino network.

    • Scott Falconer

      We don’t currently make use of CV but do have a machine learning framework in place and will be rolling out features and a recommendation engine based on that data in future versions.

  • Justin

    Great work Mark…. this is awesome!

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