Instagram madness and photo app alternatives

You may have heard that Instagram has changed their Terms of Service or the rules by which you abide by default for using the free service. One of the new policies – under “Rights” – says that Instagram can use your photos in advertising in association with paid or sponsored content that may or may not be labeled as ads. You agree to this simply by using Instagram. Technically, the only way to opt out of this and other new “agreements,” you have to delete your account.

My feeling? Every social network that is free has a lot of onerous language in their Terms of Service that puts either ownership of your images or usage of them into question and potential “peril.” But with our seemingly insatiable hunger for social networking, we “ignore” these terms and use the services anyway. As with any of these networks, you need to decide personally and professionally how you want to navigate these rules. Also understand that these networks include all sorts of language to protect themselves from any potential issues in the future and often have no concrete plans to act on these terms. They are basically covering their a$$ets.

Getting Off of Instagram

If you’re nervous about Instagram’s TOS language, you can download your entire Instagram photos onto your computer harddrive using Instasync iPhone app downloads your Instagram images to your Camera Roll. If that doesn’t work (may give a bad gateway error message depending on when you try using it), Mashable came out with a list of downloading alternatives back when Facebook bought Instagram including SocialFolders (“Like Dropbox for Social”).

If the photo extractor apps aren’t working for Instagram, you can also share individual pics to your Flickr or Tumblr accounts or both to archive them in a “better” place. Tedious but possible.

Flickr’s New App

So if you aren’t going to use Instagram, check out the new Flickr iPhone app that looks like it will give Instagram a run for its money. It works similarly to Instagram:

1. Take a photo or upload from your library.

2. Choose a filter if you’d like.

3. You can add a description. You can also add a TITLE for your image which is different from Instagram but part of Flickr’s conventions.

4. Cross post if you’d like to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or email.

5. Different from Instagram is you can opt to change the privacy settings on your images. Your choices are Public, Friends & Family, Friends, Family, Private (only you).

6. You can add a Venue (location) and Advanced settings lets you mess with the following:

– Sets

– Groups

– Tag a person

– Tag with a keyword

– Safety level

– Location privacy

Flickr’s photo app is starting to look a lot more robust and feature-rich than Instagram.

7. And did I mention you can also upload mobile Video (up to 90 seconds) to Flickr and via the Flickr app?

8. You can view your friends’ photos in the Contacts stream and also see photos from Groups you’ve joined on Flickr in the Groups stream. Instagram doesn’t have Groups.

9. View Interesting or Nearby photos.

10. View your own Photostream or Activity on your account.

I’m already starting to wonder if I need Instagram. Now Flickr needs to get their Android app up and running to seal the deal for all my Android-based friends.

Photo App Alternatives

Here are a few suggestions for other apps that are photo communities or that let you add photos.

1. Trover – I love Trover for its focus on place and discover. What started out as a location-based photo app for travelers has grown into a rich and beautiful photographic tapestry of places and things to explore around the world. Available for both iPhone and Android.

2. Trippy – Like Pinterest for travel, and they have a new iPhone app.

3. Wyst – Tag photos to locations that can be found by people near those places.

4. GLMPS – A cool blend of photo and video. Automatically takes a few seconds of video leading up to the final photo shot and turns into a video within a photo.

5. Path – Path for iPhone and Android is all about sharing moments in your life through photos, videos, locations, music, and movies. This app stumbled at first when they limited the number of people you could follow to 50. They’ve lifted the limit.

6. Intersect – This site and app hasn’t totally taken off yet, but this could be their moment. Tell your stories by capturing photos into albums with geo-location and maps. (The app lets you import your Instagrams, too)

7 Pinterest – I don’t think enough people take advantage of Pinterest’s mobile app, intimidated by the beautiful images on the website. But Pinterest has the community part and ability to organize your images as well as share them on Facebook and Twitter. Available for iPhone and Android.

And don’t forget that Foursquare also lets you upload images tied to locations. And the Google+ app for iPhone or Android is pretty elegant, too.

Who knows how big the exodus will be from Instagram, but with so many great alternatives, Facebook may have underestimated the backlash that comes out of messing with their billion dollar acquisition.

Are you sticking with Instagram or exploring another option? What photo sharing social mobile app community do you prefer?

P.S. @Greeblemonkey just recommended SnapJoy. I’m checking it out.


  1. Lucrecer

    I have been using Flickr for a long time. So, the move is not that big a deal for me. Some of the apps you recommended I have used when I had an iPhone. Now that I use an Android, I am always playing with new apps. There are alternatives that are better than Instagram.

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