12 Instagram Alternatives (With Better Features & Community)

Currently, there are a few (quite big!) image based social media networks that offer unique features and content that cannot be found on Instagram.

Depending on what type of experience you want, some of the social media networks below might even be vastly superior to Instagram, at least for you.

Below is the list of closest possible alternatives to Instagram, available on PC, Mac, iOS and Android:

Most similar apps to Instagram and how they compare

Imgur vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

Imgur is more of a discussion board based on images rather than a proper photography app with social media features like Instagram.

It is entirely unique and offers something not found anywhere else on the Internet, and has its own type of subculture that isn’t focused on other people’s lifestyles, but more of a “town hall” discussion type app.

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

Imgur is more of a community-driven platform with a focus on sharing images and memes. The images you’ll see in your feed are selected by an algorithm, based on how many likes and dislikes they have.

Besides the images, the main attraction of Imgur are the comments and discussions that users have. Depending on the photo, these discussions can be super in-depth and entertaining.

The biggest disadvantage of Imgur is that most of the images are either memes, funny, interesting or weird. There’s very little artistic and aesthetic content.

Building a following as a content creator:

While it is possible to build a following on Imgur, the platform is less focused on highlighting individual creators and more on communities, as well as algorithms that promote interesting and entertaining content.

For example, users don’t even share their real names and instead use nicknames.

 As a result, it may be more challenging to build a large following on Imgur compared to Instagram.

Storing thousands of images:

Imgur is better suited for storing images than Instagram, as it offers albums and tagging features for organizing and categorizing images.

However, for storing thousands of images, dedicated cloud storage services like Google Photos or Dropbox might be a better option.

This is because Imgur massively compresses images over 5 MB which inevitably reduce their quality. Similarly, you cannot upload videos longer than 60 seconds to Imgur.

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network:

Imgur is more focused on sharing images with the broader community rather than specifically with friends. It is possible to share images with friends through direct links, but it lacks the social networking features that Instagram offers. For example, Imgur doesn’t let you directly message a friend you follow unless you gather notoriety points.

Finding photos for commercial use:

Imgur is also not designed for finding photos for commercial use. Like Instagram, most content on Imgur is copyrighted by its respective creators. For commercial use, it is better to use stock photography websites like Shutterstock or Unsplash.

Photo editing features:

Imgur does not have a built-in photo editor. To edit photos before uploading them to Imgur, users must use external photo editing software or apps.

Overal Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while Imgur is more suitable for storing and organizing images. Neither platform is ideal for finding photos for commercial use.

VSCO vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

VSCO is primarily a paid photo editing tool for mobile that also offers the possibility of following other users and see what images they offer.

Most of the functionality is locked behind a paywall, which makes VSCO more of an enthusiast app rather than a mainstream one. That being said, the app does have it’s advantages compared to Instagram which sets VSCO apart as its own distinct social network.

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

VSCO is a photo editing and sharing app with a focus on high-quality content and has built a sizeable community around more artistic content.

The platform showcases interesting photos from content creators, but it has a smaller user base than Instagram meaning there’s much less variety of images you can see.

Building a following as a content creator:

VSCO is more niche than Instagram and has a smaller user base. While it is possible to build a following on VSCO, it may be more challenging due to its narrower focus on photography and art.

Instagram by comparison is much mainstream and attracts users interested in every possible topic: art, celebrities, science, memes, nature etc.

Storing thousands of images:

VSCO is a photo editing app that allows users to store images in their personal library. However, it is not specifically designed for that purpose.

For example, if you aren’t careful and delete the app you can also delete any photos you have uploaded to VSCO but haven’t published.

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network:

VSCO is more focused on sharing images within its artistic community, rather than with friends. While you can share images with friends through direct links, it lacks the social networking features that Instagram offers.

For example, you cannot directly comment on the photos of your friends, or other people you follow. This greatly remove the “community” aspect of VSCO and makes the app more of a gallery rather than a public square where people talk with one another.

Finding photos for commercial use:

Just like Instagram, VSCO is also not designed for finding photos for commercial use. Like Instagram, most content on VSCO is copyrighted by its respective creators.

Photo editing features:

VSCO is primarily a photo editing app and offers a wide range of filters, tools, and advanced editing options. VSCO’s photo editing capabilities are more advanced and professional compared to Instagram’s built-in editor.

Overal Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while VSCO offers more advanced photo editing features and has a focus on high-quality content and a more artistic community. Neither platform is ideal for finding photos for commercial use.

Flickr vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

Flickr is an even older app that Instagram, but it failed to gain the traction of Instagram because it didn’t understand how to make social sharing fun.

Nowadays, Flickr is primarily an excellent image storage website that has also built a thriving community around amateur and professional photography.

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

Flickr is a photo-sharing platform with a focus on high-quality photography from both professional and amateur photographers. This means anything from landscape photography, urban exploration, portraits, culture, food etc.

Non-photographic content is not popular on Flickr at all. This means quotes, memes, screenshots and similar content cannot be found on the platform.

Building a following as a content creator:

Building a following on Flickr is possible, but it may be more challenging due to its smaller user base and very narrow focus on photography. However, Flickr does have dedicated groups and communities for photographers to connect and share their work.

Storing thousands of images:

Flickr is vastly better than Instagram for storing and organizing images, since it offers albums, tags, and collections for categorizing images.

On top of that, Flickr allows you to have in-depth privacy controls, so you can make every single photo you upload private or select which albums or tags can be private or public.

With a Flickr Pro subscription, users can store an unlimited number of images at full resolution. Pro subscribers can also upload videos of up to 1 GB in 1080p.

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network: AICI AI RAMAS

Flickr is more focused on sharing images within its photography community, rather than with friends. While you can share images with friends through direct links, it lacks the social networking features that Instagram offers.

The platform is simply very clunky for casual chatting with your social circle. There are lots of taps involved to send a direct message, you always have to manage who is friend or family, etc.

Finding photos for commercial use:

Flickr has a very well developed system for finding photos for commercial use, as it allows users to search for images based on their license type, including Creative Commons licenses. This makes it easier to find images that can be used for commercial purposes with proper attribution.

Photo editing features:

Flickr does come with its own built-in photo editor, however users must first upload the photos to Flickr and edit them there. The editing tools are also relatively limited and lack the fun, variety factor that’s in Instagram.

Overal Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while Flickr offers more advanced options for storing and organizing images, as well as finding photos for commercial use. Neither platform is ideal for professional photo editing.

500px vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

500px is a platform where professional and amateur photographers alike can share their images mostly in the hope that they can sell them as stock images.

However, 500px also appeals to casual and “photography viewers” since the interface is extremely pleasant to navigate and offers a ton of interesting photography to explore.

500px also offers a paid plan, where professional photographers can upload more than 7 photos per week, stop seeing ads, and get access to account analytics.

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

500px is a photo-sharing platform with a focus on high-quality photography and a more professional community. The platform showcases interesting photos from professional and semi-professional photographers, but it has a smaller user base than Instagram.

Finally, the platform mostly focuses on “serious” photography, so no memes, jokes, etc.

Building a following as a content creator:

500px is a more niche platform with a focus on high-quality photography. Building a following on 500px is possible, especially for photographers who produce professional-grade content. However, it may be more challenging due to its smaller user base and more specialized focus.

Storing thousands of images:

500px is better suited than Instagram for storing and organizing images, as it offers features like galleries and sets for categorizing images.

However, 500px does not offer the possibility of uploading videos.

This makes 500px more focused on showcasing high-quality photography rather than acting as a storage solution for thousands of images.

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network:

500px is more focused on sharing images within its photography community rather than with friends. Some of the social features included in 500px are: sending photos to friends as direct links, commenting on photos and direct messaging.

However, 500px does have social limitations. For example, you can’t tag another person in your photo, post videos, share stories etc.

Finding photos for commercial use:

500px offers a licensing program called 500px Licensing, where users can purchase high-quality images for commercial use. This makes 500px an excellent source to find licensed stock photography or just sell your images in general.

Photo editing features:

500px: 500px does not have a built-in photo editor. To edit photos before uploading them to 500px, users must use external photo editing software or apps.

Overal Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while 500px offers more advanced options for showcasing high-quality photography and finding photos for commercial use. Neither platform is ideal for storing thousands of images or professional photo editing.

Pexels vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

Pexels is a free stock photo platform that showcases high-quality, interesting photos from various photographers.

The platform focuses on providing images that can be used for personal and commercial purposes, but isn’t really a social media platform.

For example, photos in Pexels don’t have captions attached. The only detail attached to photos is location, camera and that’s pretty much it.

Building a following as a content creator:

Pexels is not designed for building a following as a content creator. While photographers can contribute their work to Pexels, the platform’s primary purpose is to provide free stock photos, and it doesn’t have the social features that Instagram offers to build a following.

Storing thousands of images:

Pexels is not designed for storing thousands of personal images, as its primary purpose is to provide free stock photos for users.

Pexel users are can only upload 10 photos per day at first. This limit is increased to 50 photos per day after reaching 5 featured submissions or if you’re invited by the moderation team to be a “Pexel Hero”.

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network:

Pexels is not designed for sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network. You can follow people, but you cannot directly message them or comment on their photos.

Finding photos for commercial use:

Pexels is specifically designed for finding photos for commercial use. All photos on Pexels are free to use for personal and commercial purposes without the need for attribution, making it an excellent choice for finding photos for commercial use.

Photo editing features:

Pexels does not have a built-in photo editor. To edit photos before using them, users must rely on external photo editing software or apps.

Overal Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while Pexels is an excellent choice for finding photos for commercial use. Neither platform is ideal for storing thousands of images or professional photo editing.

Behance vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

Behance is a platform focused on showcasing creative work from various fields, including photography, graphic design, illustration, and more.

Behance has a more professional orientation, and its content is often more curated, with higher production values and usually oriented towards professionals such as artists or designers, or people who need them.

Building a following as a content creator:

Behance is better suited for building a following among professionals in the creative industry. It allows creators to showcase their portfolio, receive feedback, and connect with potential clients or collaborators.

However, building a following on Behance might be more challenging than on Instagram due to its niche audience and more professional focus.

Storing thousands of images:

Behance is not designed for storing thousands of personal images, as its primary purpose is to showcase creative work. It is more suitable for organizing and presenting a professional portfolio than for storing a large number of images.

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network:

Behance is not designed for sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network. Its primary purpose is to showcase creative work, and it lacks the social networking features that Instagram offers.

Finding photos for commercial use:

Behance is not specifically designed for finding photos for commercial use, but it does showcase creative work from professionals. You might find photographers who offer their services for commercial purposes, but it is important to reach out to them and obtain proper permissions before using their work.

Photo editing features:

Behance does not have a built-in photo editor, as it is primarily a platform for showcasing creative work. Users must rely on external photo editing software or apps before uploading their work to Behance.

Overal Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while Behance is more focused on showcasing creative work from professionals and connecting with a niche audience in the creative industry. Neither platform is ideal for storing thousands of images or finding photos for commercial use without proper permissions.

Vero vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

Vero is a social media platform that aims to provide a more authentic experience, free from ads and algorithms. Users can discover interesting photos from content creators, but the platform is smaller than Instagram, which may limit the variety and volume of content available.

Building a following as a content creator:

Vero’s ad-free and algorithm-free environment can be appealing to some content creators, but the platform’s smaller user base makes it more difficult to build a significant following compared to Instagram. Additionally, it lacks some features that can help creators gain visibility and grow their audience.

Storing thousands of images:

Similar to Instagram, Vero is also not designed for storing thousands of images in high definition. The app does allow unlimited uploads in principle, but it will limit this if you break an invisible barrier (Instagram does this as well, you can’t just upload 10,000 photos in one day).

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network:

Vero is designed for sharing content with friends and connecting with your social network, but it lacks the extensive user base that Instagram has, which may limit the ability to connect with a broader audience. However, the absence of ads and algorithms might appeal to users looking for a more authentic social media experience.

Finding photos for commercial use:

Just like with Instagram, Vero isn’t a good app to find commercial photos for personal or business use since their terms of service do not cover this aspect of photo sharing.

Photo editing features:

Vero does not have a built-in photo editor, and users must rely on external photo editing software or apps before uploading their content to the platform.

Overall Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while Vero True Social offers a more authentic, ad-free social media experience but lacks the extensive user base and some features that help creators gain visibility. Neither platform is ideal for storing thousands of images or finding photos for commercial use.

Viewbug vs Instagram

Website | iOS | Android

Viewbug is a photography app primarily focused around photo contests and competition among photographers to get the best photo on a particular theme.

This competitive drive to create the best photograph produces many spectacular images that are beautiful even if not winners of competitions.

Seeing interesting photos from content creators:

Viewbug is a platform specifically designed for photographers and photo enthusiasts to showcase their work, participate in photo contests, and engage with a community of like-minded individuals. The platform offers a wide variety of interesting photos, but the focus is mainly on photography rather than a broader range of content.

Building a following as a content creator:

Viewbug is a niche platform that may be suitable for photographers who want to build a following within a dedicated photography community. However, due to its smaller user base and limited focus on photography, it may be more challenging to build a substantial following compared to Instagram.

Storing thousands of images:

Viewbug allows users to store and showcase their photography, but it is not designed specifically for storing thousands of images.

Sharing images with friends and keeping in touch with your social network:

Viewbug is primarily focused on the photography community, so it doesn’t have useful features that allow users to keep in touch with friends, share photos with them, tag one another in photos etc.

Finding photos for commercial use:

Viewbug is not designed for finding photos for commercial use, as it is primarily a platform for photographers to showcase their work and participate in contests.

Photo editing features:

Viewbug does not have a built-in photo editor, and users must rely on external photo editing software or apps before uploading their content to the platform.

Overall Comparison

In summary, Instagram is better for content creators, sharing images with friends, and casual photo editing, while Viewbug offers a dedicated platform for photographers to showcase their work within a photography community. Neither platform is ideal for storing thousands of images or finding photos for commercial use.

Other Pinterest alternatives

Pinterest

Website | iOS | Android

Pinterest is primarily focused on idea discovery and curation, rather than personal content sharing. You will find a vast array of topics, including fashion, home decor, recipes, and DIY projects, among others.

Instead of following individual users, you will follow boards curated by users, collecting and organizing ideas by “pinning” them to your own boards.

While Pinterest is less focused on building a personal following or showcasing your own content, it is an excellent platform for discovering inspiration, organizing ideas, and exploring interests in a more visual and organized manner.

Tumblr

Website | iOS | Android

Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to share various types of content, including text, photos, videos, links, and more.

Unlike Instagram, which is primarily image-based, Tumblr offers a more diverse range of content formats.

The platform is known for its creative and often niche communities, as well as its customizable blog themes.

While building a following on Tumblr might be different from Instagram, you can explore and engage with a variety of topics, share your own creations, and connect with like-minded individuals in a more versatile micro-blogging environment.

Reddit

Website | iOS | Android

Reddit is primarily a discussion board, where the primary attraction of the app is to navigate through an endless list of memes, serious topics and weird content you never thought could exist.

As a huge social media site with 1.5 billion users, the platform has “subreddits” for practically any imaginable interest.

If you’re primarily interested in photography, then you can subscribe to countless boards focused around this topic such as:

Paul Bonea
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