3 Instagram Alternatives: Beyond Facebook’s Instabillion Buy

Disturbance In The Force

Join me and together we will rule the galaxy!

Did anyone else sense a disturbance in The Force recently?

You may have heard the news: Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 BillionMoves Operations to Secret Volcano LairIgnites Hipster Outrage.

I personally am encouraged by this news, since there’s only so much Instagram’s 13-person operation is capable of, and since their monthly hosting bill alone must equal the GDP of a small country. I think having the vast resources of Facebook will ease more growing pains than it will create, and I don’t plan to change how I use either service, for now anyway.

Instagram’s New HQ (rumored)

That said, this opens up all kinds of questions about whether your Instagram content is now Facebook’s content, if Instagram will now have ads, or if the whole Instagram experience goes down the tubes.


I’m not so concerned, because, simply, Instagram is not the only show in town. It’s service is one of the most streamlined, accessible, and, ironically, the most connected with other networks. I think that’s ironic because it’s these other networks that offer so much of what Instagram already does: easy photo sharing, mobile apps, and interaction with like-minded folks.

These other networks might not have filters at the ready, but most of my photos don’t even use Instagram filters, since there are so many apps far more capable of turning everyday snapshots into appreciable art. And once you’ve become handy with some photo editing apps that suit your taste, here are a couple of other photo-sharing networks to consider:

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While more general-purpose and slightly more complicated to use than other networks, Flickr is a fantastic value (2 videos and 300MB worth of photos each calendar month for free accounts) and has a very robust web interface for organizing your images. You can use collections, sets, adjust privacy levels for each, and plenty more. Just like Instagram, there’s commenting, favorites (likes), followers (contacts), groups, but then there’s still more beyond that. And they have a wacky sense of humor (big points from me for that). The Flickr mobile app is also a great way to browse images and see those of your contacts.

Hopefully, this could be the business model Facebook anticipates, where the service is practically independent from its parent: much-beloved Flickr is thriving, unlike much-cursed Yahoo. It might take a little more searching to find arty pics here, but it’s worth a look if that’s your thing. If mobile art specifically is your thing, you might like…


No, liking it doesn’t make you a deviant (let’s hope), but DeviantArt does offer an enthusiastic community and tons of content, all sortable and searchable depending on what your interest may be. DeviantArt is truly a social network for creatives, with a slant toward the artistic. There’s not a specific app, but that’s a non-issue, since their ultra-slick mobile-friendly version of the site gives you the same experience and functionality as the full-site version.

I’m already on Instagram; Why Reinvent the Wheel?

Good point. You don’t have to abandon ship. And I, especially, am not eager to learn a new photo-sharing interface just because of an acquisition. But one thing to consider is that unlike many other photo sharing apps or networks, these particular examples are very well-established – either in terms of how long they’ve been around, the depth of experience they offer, dedicated user base… or any combination of these and other factors that are of proven appeal to many Instagramers.

So if you think the party is over for our beloved Instagram, have a look at these other, less-likely-to-be-purchased-by-Facebook networks serving up their own style of social art.

What do you think of Facebook’s Instapurchase? Are you already on one or more of these networks? What has your experience there been like vs. Instagram? Is there another network (not app, but network) you would recommend? Let us hear from you in the comments.

9 thoughts on “3 Instagram Alternatives: Beyond Facebook’s Instabillion Buy

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  3. Eric

    I was thinking the same thing on the coding and funding side. I only hope the instgram app doesn’t just become a button on Facebook. That would devalue a billion dollar investment into a hotlink and probably result in a mass exodus. I personally just dl’d the ipa app. Cheers for the heads up on that.

    1. rsmithing

      Excellent point. I doubt FB will just do an assimilation… at least I hope so. Glad you’re checking out the IPA app; I’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of stuff over there. The site is really where it’s at, but the app is a great companion. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Erika

    You described my feelings almost exactly… Fairly indifferent. I have no hate for Facebook. I actually enjoy staying connected with family and friends there. Here on IG I connect more with complete strangers… which is strangely satisfying also. I guess my only worries are that we will be inundated with ads and that people that have a particular dislike of FB will leave IG. I am hopeful that the purchase will lead to some improved organizational control of my IG photos.

    1. rsmithing

      What a great point about the way we connect. And you’re right on about some long-needed organization. Something like Twitter’s lists would be great. Heck, half the time the crop function doesn’t even work… would be nice to see some basic debugging. Thanks for weighing in!

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  6. Appdaptation

    Thanks for taking a more level headed look at this than I did this morning. 🙂 Great article as always my friend!

    1. rsmithing

      Oh, but you hit the nail on the head perfectly when you say Golliath ate David! Thanks for weighing in, Chris – this is going to be interesting, no doubt.


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