I originally wrote this post back in April when Instagram sold off to Facebook. I wasn’t crazy about the move then and after they released their new TOS this past Monday (which was preceded by removing their association with Twitter last month) am even more disappointed in the service. They’ve since issued a “clarification” due to public outcry and misunderstandings, but I think enough people were upset that the damage may be done and the back-pedaling is too little, too late. All of that aside, I think it’s important to remind everyone that when you put your information, photos, videos, etc on the internet, you’re running the risk that someone will use your stuff for their own purpose without so much as a tip of the hat. That’s the price you pay for “free”. All of these companies are in it to make money and at some point, they can change their TOS and you then have to make a choice – stay and take the risk or take your things and go home.
If you’ve decided that Instagram is no longer for you, here are a few options for you to consider so you can get your tilt-shift fix (I’ve added a couple to update the list). They all have similar features so it shouldn’t take you long to get used to them. And who knows… maybe all your Instagram friends will follow you! Also, here’s a link to guide you through backing up your Instagram photos and deleting your account.
I love Instagram. I’ve used it for almost 2 years and this was the very first picture I took:
Since then, I’ve shot over 250 pictures using Instagram. It has helped me look at things differently when I shoot a picture with my iPhone. It can take a normal, everyday photo and give it a whole new look. And while I have played around with a few other photo filtering apps, it was always Instagram that I turned to most often. So, I have to say that I was a little sad to hear this week that they had sold out to Facebook to the tune of 1 billion dollars. Now, I’m a pragmatic girl and I’m sure if someone wanted to buy something I created for that much money, I’d probably take the money and run, too. But it wasn’t me that got a billion dollars and I’m not happy that one of my favorite apps is going under the big blue F-cloud. I know that I’m not the only one who’s disappointed, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about a few alternatives to Instagram in case you’re looking for the nearest “delete app” door.
1) Streamzoo – I was introduced to StreamZoo earlier this year by Stephanie Wonderlin. It is VERY similar to Instagram with a few additions. It has the same subscriber base that you’re familiar with, filters, effects, etc but unlike Instagram, you can actually go on their site and work with your photos. To me, the biggest down side to Instagram was that you couldn’t get to your photos thru the website. Streamzoo also has a gaming element to it where you earn badges and if you know me, you know I love badges! (Free app – iPhone and Android)
2) Hipstamatic – This one’s pretty robust and definitely will add punch to your photos. You can upload your photos to all of your social media sites and the app comes with a huge host of filters. It’s not a free app but the first fee covers a good amount of filters and you can add on different filters for an additional charge. I have the additional “Disposable” feature which creates a mutual camera between you and another friend with the app. Say you’re at a party, you set up a mutual album and then it collects both of your photos throughout the evening to create one album. Pretty fun feature. One of the other neat things about this app is that you can actually order physical prints. It also supports video. ($1.99 plus $.99 each additional filter set. iPhone only)
3) Camera Awesome – I just started using this one last week and let me tell you – this app is AMAZING. The base app is free and you can get additional filters for a fee. I haven’t upgraded yet but imagine I’ll do so very soon. It’s made my SmugMug so you have many more editing options than you did with Instagram. You can “one-tap” upload to your favorite social media sites and it supports video, as well. (Free for base app, additional sets of 9 are $.99 each or you can get them all for $9.99 which gets you 262,143 combos! iPhone only)
4) Photobucket – I actually started using Photobucket as an alternative to Picnik, but it also has an app that syncs your camera photos to your online albums. I haven’t quite mastered the app itself but the online version has all the filters you know and love from Instagram. Not exactly the same thing as the rest of them but an option, still. (Free app – iPhone and Android)
5) Snapseed – This is from our friends at Google and is probably one of my favorites. And since it’s connected to Google, if you’re a fan of SEO it’s probably the choice for you. There are more features in Snapseed than Instagram but it will take a little time to get used to it.
6) Flickr – I just downloaded this one and haven’t had a chance to try it out but from everything that I’m reading, it could be the one that most people flock to if they leave Instagram. They’ve had a recent and major update and that’s where so many people already have their photos, so if this one becomes the new “sweetheart” app, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.
There are definitely other options out there and I know I haven’t hit them all. If you’re looking for the most familiar option, I would definitely recommend Streamzoo as it most closely mirrors Instagram with a few added perks. You won’t find as many of your friends on Streamzoo as on Instagram- yet.
Which apps would you recommend that I may not have listed?