When news broke that Facebook was acquiring Instagram for $1B, Twitter went all Charlie Sheen for the next couple hours while I sat there doing my best Dr. Evil impression for the next 30 seconds. Over the next few days, people began to claim they were deleting their Instagram account because of Big Brother, I mean, Facebook. I don’t disagree with deleting your account, but I also don’t like Facebook for their bloodsucking, data-collecting and monopolistic ideals. If you are interested in switching platforms, there are numerous comparable photo apps available. I rate Instagram a 3.5 out of 5, personally. Here are a few that I have personally dabbled with and believe will grow now that image-based platforms will continue to increase in value.
Streamzoo is a versatile competitor to Instagram because it has pictures AND videos, badges to achieve and more filters and effects to choose from. They also have share options to other sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. Options for viewing an image include ‘like’ the image, see who liked it, share it, follow any streams or hashtags that the image references or view the profile of the image owner. Streamzoo is both free and unique in a way that it is also a social gaming app, which allows it to build a larger community faster. To earn badges, you need to score points. To score points, you need to ‘like’ people’s photos, comment on their photos, upload your own photos, follow people and have people follow you back. There are daily and weekly leaderboards that show users with the most points and you can find friends in a similar fashion as Instagram. The best part is that you can use this app on its own website, where Instagram is purely mobile. This is a great app for both iPhone and Android phones and an app I will continue to use in the future.
4.5 out of 5
Pixlr-o-Matic is amazing AND free! Although it isn’t a social platform or hub for your photos, it is a photo editing app that shares your photos to numerous sites including its own site, imm.io. And like Streamzoo, you can edit photos on the website as well as the mobile app. What makes this such a great choice to use is the uber amounts of editing options such as colors/hues, frames and effects. You can also download MANY more filters and effects to increase the coolness factor of the app. I suggest to download the ‘creative’ filters, which are pretty cool to use! Pixlr-o-Matic also has a fun shuffle button to use a random selection of filters and effects to any image you choose. If you’re on the website, there some more great options. Pixlr Grabber allows you to download an extension on both Firefox and Chrome so that you can right-click any image and send it into the Pixlr Editor, similar to Pinterest in a way. It was awarded the 2011 “Best App Ever” award for the Best Photo Editing App on Android by 148apps.com. There are over 2M combinations to use with the filters offered. Pixlr-o-Matic is offered on both Android and iPhone.
4.5 out of 5
Recently, AOL acquired Hipster to work with their mobile team. You may have also heard that they acquired Huffington Post too. Doesn’t matter, AOL is so 90′s anyway, ha! Back to the app, I must say that I very much like the images created by Hipster. There are 17 filters available, which isn’t much, but more than Instagram. You’re able to share images with friends, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Flickr. The main gimmick with Hipster is that you’re creating virtual postcards to send to friends or share on your networks. Each preset filter has space for a caption which, by default, contains your location and made to look like a postcard. You can easily edit the caption, and your text will carry through all of the presets as you pick what you like. The geo-tag option can be toggled on/off, thankfully. Hipster almost works as a Instagram/Foursquare combo with its photo editing and location-based connection. Unlike Instagram, Hipster has a website that allows you to view yours and others photos, find friends and even shop for stuff you’ll never want. When you view your image you will be able to see who has commented, “liked” and who is viewing your photo, something different than the other apps. Because this is a location-based app, they give you the option to see images posted from nearby your current location. Hipster is free and available for both Android and iPhone.
3 out of 5
I have never used Camera Plus, because it is only for iPhones, but I hear it is much better than Instagram in every way. There is a free version and a pro version that costs $1.99. Because I have never used this app, I cannot properly review it. After reading the website and another 3rd party review, I am convinced that Camera Plus sounds like the greatest photo app ever made! I have talked to many people who use this app and they say they will never use another app again. I suggest you check the website and/or download the app yourself.
I know there are an uber amount of other options to choose from, but these are the few that I’ve used and can properly review. Plus, I have an Android phone. If you know of some other great options, please share them and your favorites!