The best alternatives to Instagram: social networks for amateur photographers

The best alternatives to Instagram: social networks for amateur photographers
The best alternatives to Instagram

I
nstagram is the image platform par excellence. Nowhere else can photographers share their smartphone shots so quickly and easily. The application, available for both Android and iOS as well as web applications, is also the absolute number one for companies and influencers in terms of interactions. The success story is unstoppable: developers recorded a billion active users in June 2018, 19 million of them in Italy alone; so far more than 40 billion images have been uploaded.

For some people Instagram can also be a source of frustration: maybe you didn't get the desired result of follower or you are convinced that before the new algorithm of the timeline everything was somehow better. Even if you reluctantly decide to delete your Instagram account again, you don't have to say goodbye to sharing photos on social networks. After all, there are good alternatives to Instagram that are worth discovering.

  • Index
  1. Tumblr: a network of bloggers with large capacity
  2. Pinterest: a source of inspiration for many
  3. Flickr: a platform for photography enthusiasts
  4. EyeEm: the business model of the image marketplace
  5. Fact: the different social network
  6. The five best Instagram alternatives compared

Tumblr: a network of large-scale bloggers

The large community of bloggers is little followed in Italy, but together with Reddit and 4chan, it is almost considered as the melting pot of the modern Internet, where different trends and online memes have taken off. Tumblr focuses on blogs that can be completely individualized and in some cases highly specialized (keyword: microblogging) in the most diverse topics. The tone of the posts can range from serious to funny. The slightly more absurd specimens are probably also one of the reasons why a good part of the members are less than 25 years old. Almost 335 million users (in April 2017) already have their own blog on Tumblr.
The best alternatives to Instagram: social networks for amateur photographers
With Tumblr, you can create your own blog and customize its layout, theme, and font.
By scrolling through the search results of Tumblr, you will quickly notice a clear tendency towards animated images and GIFs, which are automatically reproduced when viewed. Each blog can also be viewed as a practical overview in the form of an "archive" that allows direct access to individual posts. In addition to this, it is also possible to share texts, videos, live broadcasts and even audio files on the network. Like Instagram, hashtags are used to attract other users' attention to their content, which can then add the blog to their dashboard (the Tumblr timeline) as favorites, to stay up to date on new posts.
The " historical " of the posts are of particular importance. On Tumblr, there are even a few blogs that focus exclusively on collecting images on a particular topic in one place. In this way, the most appreciated contents (in English: "to tumble") with extreme speed through the community and spread far beyond its borders. However, you must take into account the precarious situation of copyright. To navigate freely on the platform you don't need to be a blogger, but be careful: while browsing through the over 300 million blogs, you may accidentally come across content that other platforms have long forbidden in their guidelines (such as explicit pornography).

Pinterest: a source of inspiration for many

Pinterest is often compared directly with Instagram, but the two platforms are very different in many ways. Pinterest (an artificial word that derives from the English terms "pin" and "interest") is not so much about the simple sharing of images and their likes, but the inspiration they can offer. Whether you are traveling, cooking, furnishing, styling or do-it-yourself projects, those looking for original and achievable ideas on one or all of these topics connect to Pinterest and indicate their interests. In this way, the application automatically creates a personal message board with the suggestions of the individual areas.
The best alternatives to Instagram: social networks for amateur photographers
Over 250 million users (data updated to September 2018) are already looking for inspiration and DIY ideas on Pinterest.

As in real life, the 
virtual bulletin board serves as a collection point for ideas, recipes, and instructions, which are provided in the form of images rather than text or video. This content can be found via pins (the Pinterest version of the hashtags) and stored in thematic galleries. The images can also be attached directly to external sites. All you have to do is enter the URL and the application will automatically display all the contents available for storage.
A feature of Pinterest is that no filters or photo effects are available, as is the case with Instagram. So the images should already have a certain quality before being loaded onto the platform. L ' attention to the quality and professionalism offers numerous starting points for companies that want to present and promote their content and products on Pinterest. Many images are therefore linked to online stores: when the customer clicks on an interesting piece of furniture or on a styling idea, he is redirected directly to the provider's website, generating traffic and perhaps even making a spontaneous purchase. Pinterest is constantly expanding the possibilities for advertisers, such as with an influencer marketing program and functions for a more focused user approach.

Flickr: a platform for photography enthusiasts


The Flickr online service allows you to edit digital and digitized images and videos in real time and share them with a small group of people or a large audience. Other users can browse (in English "to flick") their assortment of images, comment on it, evaluate it and recommend it. Photos are categorized using specific keywords, making them easier to find.
The best alternatives to Instagram: social networks for amateur photographers
On Flickr, 90 million users (data updated to September 2018), in over 2 million groups, exchange information on their passion for photography.

This is particularly useful when looking for visual material for the next design project. 
Many of the photos uploaded on the platform are in the public domain or 
released for further processing and for commercial use under different Creative Commons licenses (explicitly indicated for each image). The selection is impressive because Flickr is a meeting place for photography enthusiasts who have a real passion for their craft and don't just want to publish spontaneous snapshots taken with a smartphone. Particular attention is paid to the technical aspect of photography: you can then upload your visual works with all the data associated with the camera, giving other users an overview of your way of working.

A negative aspect is the intention of the new owner of the SmugMug app to reduce the free cloud storage of the 1 TB platform to just 1,000 photos and videos. The price of an ad-free Pro account with unlimited storage and extended features is around the US $ 50 (around € 44) per year.

EyeEm: the business model of the image marketplace

Edit images in real time and share them with the community: the app of the Berlin start-up EyeEm (pronounced "I am") is very similar to other image platforms, but, unlike US competition, benefits from the advanced level of data protection in Europe. However, this is not his only distinctive feature: the application allows you to sell photos through the EyeEm Market to photo agencies like Getty Images. After several ups and downs, the network founded in 2011 has turned into a famous image market with over 100 million photos derived from two million users. EyeEm has a total of 22 million users (data updated to November 2018).
EyeEm allows its users to earn money with their images.
The standard licenses offered for the digital use of an image all over the world cost 20 US dollars (about 18 euros), but depending on the needs the prices can go up to 50 (about 44 euros) or 250 US dollars (about 220 euros). With a guaranteed commission of 50% of the sales price and weekly missions (called "EyeEm Missions"), developers motivate their users to create high-quality photos on subjects such as nature, people or travel. The extravagant fashion bloggers with perfectly shaped "duck faces" will therefore rarely be present in this community.
The intelligent software for image recognition of EyeEm, called "The Roll", helps to select the best photos for sale automatically ordering the smartphone gallery by theme and relevance, noting at the same time the technical data, such as shutter speed, the opening, and the ISO value. The main customers are the manufacturers EyeEm, television stations and publishing companies, such as Lufthansa, Airbnb, and the Huffington Post. This image market is therefore in direct competition with stock photo suppliers, such as Fotolia, and represents a real alternative to the influencer business model.

True: the different social network

True it has been around since 2015, but so far it has been considered more like a secret novelty. The situation changed in early 2018: when several influencers created an account on the photographic network hitherto unknown, the number of users suddenly rose to one million, even causing service interruptions due to the rapid increase in traffic. True is quite similar to its competitors: the network uses a hashtag, has a messaging function and allows content to be shared only with selected user groups.
The best alternatives to Instagram: social networks for amateur photographers
Vero wants to differentiate itself from the notorious data monsters like Facebook and give its users full control over their content.
Influencers were probably attracted by the vision of developers to offer Vero as a real alternative to the market leader Instagram and other longstanding social media platforms: in line with its name and the slogan "True Social", the goal is that of adopting a frontal approach to the ailments typical of the sector. This means no advertising, no collection of user data and no annoying algorithm that pre-selects the contents. Thanks to this promise, Vero is already considered by some as "the Instagram of the future". But can the app really do justice to this claim?
The fact is that even the big social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, were initially free of advertising and algorithms. Another factor criticized is the need to have to indicate your phone number when registering a new account. Furthermore, Vero will not remain freely accessible forever: paid subscriptions, even if at low prices, are intended to guarantee the financing of the app in the future. A concrete price and its introduction are not yet known and in consideration of technical problems, the developers have decided to temporarily extend their "Free for Life" offer, which was to apply only to the first million users. So it's worth getting on the train now and becoming a pioneer of a new and probably promising image platform.

The five best Instagram alternatives compared

The following summary summarizes all the similarities and differences between the five best alternatives to Instagram:

Instagram
Tumblr
Pinterest
Flickr
EyeEm
True
Constitution
2010
2007
2010
2004
2011
2015
Owner
Facebook
Yahoo!
Cold Brew Labs, Inc.
SmugMug
EyeEm
Vero Labs, Inc.
Users
1 bln (06/2018)
335 mln (04/2017)
250 mln (09/2018)
90 million (09/2018)
22 million (11/2018)
1 million (02/2018)
Storage space
unlimited
unlimited
unlimited
1,000 photos/videos (cost of a Pro account with unlimited storage: around 50 US dollars/year)
unlimited
unlimited
Advertising?
Free?
✔ (for the moment; in the future: paid subscriptions)
Web application?
Android version?
IOS version?

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