It can be a little tricky to find websites and apps that are just like Instagram, since it’s partially a photo-and-video-editing service, and partially a social network. We’ve tried to split the difference here by showing you a mix of different popular sites and apps that we think are comparable to Instagram.
VSCO (pronounced like “visco”) has recently become a popular app for photo editing and sharing. VSCO stands for Visual Supply Company. Similarly to Instagram, VSCO allows users to upload photos, edit them, and post them. Some people use VSCO simply as a photo editor, to add unique filters and effects to their photos before posting them elsewhere.
However, while VSCO is also a place where you can post the photos you’ve edited, users are not able to “like” or comment on other users’ posts like you can on Instagram. You can “follow” other people on VSCO, but the focus of the app is more on the photography rather than the social media features. VSCO is free to download and use, but does offer additional filters for in-app purchase. VSCO is available on iOS and Android devices.
Flickr, now owned by Internet giant Yahoo, was one of the first popular photo-sharing websites on the Internet. It allows people to post, organize, and edit photographs and videos, much like Instagram does. Doing so requires an account on Flickr, but merely accessing photos and videos on Flickr does not. In addition, many photographs on Flickr have a “Creative Commons” license, so as long as you give the original author credit for the photograph and follow a few other rules (such as not using the photo in an activity intended to make money), you can use photos on Flickr for your own purposes. You can use Flickr in your web browser, or download the app for your mobile device or tablet. The Flickr app is available on iOS and Android devices.
Learn more about Flickr and how to use it with our free Flickr course!
The photo editing service Pixlr has a mobile app with the same name. You can use Pixlr in your web browser, or download the app for your iOS or Android device. It doesn’t have social media features like Instagram does, but its photo-altering capabilities are much more numerous and powerful. You can use it to make small edits like cropping or rotating, as well as fine-tune your photos or add filters. And, if you’re in the mood for a surprise, you can even select a random set of effects for your photo! When you’re done making changes, you can easily share your photo on social networks, or save it to your device and use it for something else.
Galaxia (from the makers of Pheed) is very new a social media platform that doesn’t conform to what we’ve come to expect of a social networking app. Galaxia was launched in 2016, with the intention of providing users with a social media platform that is an extension of real life. Though most social networks encourage each user to create only one profile, Galaxia encourages users to create a profile or “persona” for each aspect of their personality.
Galaxia sees this as a way to give its users more freedom and opportunity when it comes to expressing themselves. Users sign up for a main account, and can create multiple “personas” that are separate from each other. You can choose whether you’d like each persona to be public or private, so users aren’t forced to have all of their content visible to anyone and everyone. Like Instagram, users can post photos and videos, as well as broadcast live within the Galaxia app. The Galaxia app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.
Path is a somewhat unique social network. Like Instagram, it allows users to share photos and videos, as well as use “tags” to organize them. What makes Path different is that it only allows users to have a maximum of 150 contacts. This feature is based on psychological findings that people can only have quality social interactions with a limited number of people at a time. Path is primarily popular in Indonesia, though it has attracted attention from American celebrities, such as actor Ashton Kutcher.
UPDATE: As of October 2018, Path.com has shut down.
Have you used any of these apps like Instagram? How were they similar or different? Did you feel that they were worth giving a try, or would you say others should steer clear of them? Do you know of any other Instagram competitors that you feel our users should know about? Let us know in the comments below.
Also, if you’re interested in trying one of these alternatives to Instagram and want to use it exclusively, our next tutorial will show you how to delete your Instagram account.