Alternatives to Instagram
November 15, 2018 9:35 AM   Subscribe

I am ditching my Facebook this weekend, and because of Associated Evil(c) with Instagram, am looking to ditch that too. However, I love Instagram! I like seeing my friends and family posting photos, and I enjoy sharing my own, and while I use real cameras often, posting a quick photo on the street from my phone is fun. I want to keep doing that.

I would like:

A) Basic, simple, FREE interface, so I can post photos from my phone.
B) Would help if it was easy to follow/connect with people so I can hopefully pull friends and family towards this alternative

Google pointed me towards some:

But I have no idea if any of those are any good, or worth trying out. I also do NOT use Twitter, and wouldn't really want any requirement to re-post, etc, or draw from other platforms, or be a part of any other service in order to use a photo posting thingy. Hope me please?
posted by agregoli to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I use the built-in Photo Streams on iPhone, but if you or your friends have Androids that won't do.

Sometimes I just text photos to groups of friends, too.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:44 AM on November 15, 2018

I was going to suggest looking at pixelfed but it's not open to the general public yet.

One possibility is to setup an account on a Mastodon instance and use that. It handles pictures pretty nicely and has good app support.
posted by suetanvil at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2018

The obvious answer, for me, would be the platform that Instagram stole most of its ideas from: Snapchat. The problem is, unlike Instagram, Snapchat pretty much lives inside the "stories" feature where everything disappears after a while. Also, the last time I tried Snapchat, I found it counterintuitive and difficult to use, but I think they have been trying to easier for adults to use. Having not used it in a while, I can't say one way or another.

With my family and friends, because we have a mix of iPhones and Androids, we just use group chat in Whatsapp, where we share photos. The problem is that Facebook owns Whatsapp, but I know there are lots of messaging platforms like Whatsapp. I know Kik is a popular one. In China, the popular one is called WeChat.

You said no Twitter, but I will say Twitter was the first thing I thought of. I find myself sharing my photos directly there more than I do Instagram or elsewhere.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:55 AM on November 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: (Oh yes, I have Android, some have iPhones, would want a platform to see both). And yes, I will avoid Twitter at all costs, and anything owned or associated with FB)
posted by agregoli at 10:00 AM on November 15, 2018

Best answer: What about Flickr? It's owned by SmugMug now and is free up to 1000 photos.
posted by congen at 10:06 AM on November 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think Pinterest would be a good option!
Tumblr and Snapchat also come to mind...
(Trying to think of popular services)
posted by kidbritish at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2018

Unfortunately, the main draw for many of these platforms isn't the tech, but rather the people who actually create the content that goes on them. If no one in your social group is on these other apps, it won't be fun for you there even if the app features are amazing.

I'd suggest that you talk to your family and friends about what other things they use or they'd be willing to use. If a lot of them are using another option, you should join that one, whatever it is. Even if they don't use a particular social media app, they may use another type of service like Flickr that allows users to post photos.
posted by Elbe at 10:11 AM on November 15, 2018 [18 favorites]

Best answer: Tumblr is where I would go - Others have the option to have their Instagram posts automatically post to a Tumblr using IFTTT. The biggest thing with Tumblr is that there are no real names, unless you make it part of your id, so it may be hard to connect.
posted by soelo at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2018

The downside to Ello is that your friends and family are unlikely to be on it, and may not be willing to follow you there, but if you can persuade them, it would work well for the use you describe.
posted by halation at 11:39 AM on November 15, 2018

Response by poster: Please, I have a concrete question here. I am not looking for answers that say there are no alternatives, or this venture to another platform will leave me without anyone to connect with. Looking for actual photo sharing alternatives. Thanks!
posted by agregoli at 1:40 PM on November 15, 2018

Response by poster: My friends and family are using FB and Insta, so I'M looking for alternatives. Please tell me about alternatives, not give me advice on how it won't work if I try them.
posted by agregoli at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2018

posted by notyou at 1:50 PM on November 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Mltshp looks interesting but isn't free, unfortunately.
posted by agregoli at 1:59 PM on November 15, 2018

Best answer: If your folks would be willing, a Telegram group would work fine and be free and easy to use.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:31 PM on November 15, 2018

Response by poster: I am using Telegram! Didn't think of it as a photo sharing site.
posted by agregoli at 2:51 PM on November 15, 2018

I use Flickr for this. Incorporating IFTTT and other platforms is also an option if you wish to disseminate outside of the Flickrsphere.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:09 PM on November 15, 2018

Best answer: 365 Project would work if you could live with posting 1 photo a day. It's free. You can pay for a second photo album and other features for $19.95.
posted by Homer42 at 8:52 PM on November 15, 2018

Fotor is very Instagram-like. Free, available for iOS and Android, and has the bonus of allowing you to use the app to sell your work.
posted by dobbs at 7:53 AM on January 1, 2019

I too have had this question.While I am still exploring alternatives I am going to try using Mailchimp as the vehicle for my next "travel newsletter for family and friends". That allows me to "push" the newsletter out but also allows recipients to opt out if they wish. The formatting of the newsletter takes a little bit of getting used to but it is ok once you get the hang of it. Not sure how Mailchimp ranks in terms of corporate behaviour but at least it is one way to move away from Facebook/Instagram.
posted by vac2003 at 4:31 PM on March 29, 2019

A follow up. I used Mailchimp for my last trip and it was indeed successful in sharing my photos. I received very positive feedback from many people - especially from those not on Facebook. The feedback was also way more personal than a simple ‘like’. Mailchimp has quite a lot of analytics attached so you see which photos etc. were most popular. Only downside was that for some people my emails ended up in their junk/spam/promotions folder and were thus unopened.

Will definitely do again!
posted by vac2003 at 4:46 PM on April 25, 2019

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