Bad news for fans of photo sharing: Instagram is more into videos these days, and not necessarily videos made by anyone you know or care about. If you’re looking for somewhere else to share your pictures, then we’ve got suggestions—there are actually plenty of alternatives out there if you’re primarily looking for image feeds, whether in a professional or casual capacity.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ve concentrated on apps that let you share one or more images at a time, in a public-facing, Instagram-style feed. There are even more options available to you besides these apps, including sharing albums in Google Photos or Apple Photos, or posting pictures to private chats on apps such as WhatsApp.
Once you’ve settled on a new home for your pictures, the only remaining problem is working out how to get all of your friends and family to swap over,F too.
Flickr (Android, iOS) has been around for a lot longer than Instagram, of course, and for a lot longer than most apps: It first appeared way back in 2004, initially as a website (this was back when phones didn’t really have apps). Since then, it’s undergone a whole host of changes and tweaks, but it remains at its core a photo (and video) sharing service.
The app puts the focus on high-resolution photos and videos, and offers some useful ways of organizing them too, including tags, collections, and albums. You can take granular control over viewing permissions for images, and tag other people in them too. You also get all image metadata, from the camera (or phone) used to take it to whether or not the flash was on, saved with your pictures—it’s that kind of service.
If there is a catch, it’s that free users can only store 1,000 images at a time. However, besides unlimited storage space, a Flickr Pro subscription brings with it a whole host of other benefits as well: it includes an ad-free browsing experience, advanced browsing stats for your photos and videos, and premium support. The Pro subscription will currently cost you $8.25 a month or $71.99 a year.
Remember Tumblr (Android, iOS)? It’s still around, and better than you might remember. Like Flickr, it’s been around for a long, long time—since 2007, in fact. Since the beginning, it’s been able to adapt to whatever users want to do with it. One of the many different ways you can use Tumblr is as a simple image feed.
You can tag and caption images, you can reblog pictures from other people, and you can choose from a host of different looks for your own Tumblr page (your photo feed). Rudimentary social features like direct messages come built in, and if you want to expand your feed to include links and text and audio and videos, then that’s possible too.
Tumblr is just as good for discovering new content as it is for sharing your own, and while it might lack some of the professional photographer features of Flickr, a lot of users are going to be wanting something more straightforward, anyway. Tumblr is free, though you can pay $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year to get rid of the ads.
Retrica (Android, iOS) is clearly a copy of Instagram, but it’s a copy of old, classic Instagram—filters and all—and so now might be the time to switch from the original to the copy of the original... if that makes sense. It’s geared primarily towards photo taking, and images can be shared to other apps too, but you get your own Retrica profile as well.
Right from the start, the app sends you into photo taking mode, and whether you snap an original shot or load one up from your camera roll, you can then add a variety of filters and effects. It’s here that the app makes its money, because a lot of the filters and effects need a premium subscription—yours for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year.
Shooting and posting photos is all free, though, and the app has enough about it to be able to attract people abandoning Instagram. The social elements are more straightforward—you can like images but not comment on them for example—but you might prefer that.
You’ll find that 500px (Android, iOS) is very much geared towards serious photographers—hence the option to license your work—but it can also be used more casually. As with Flickr, you get plenty of control over how your pictures are organized, tagged, and made available to the wider world.
There really is a comprehensive set of photo management tools here, and that is very much the focus rather than any kind of social aspect. That said, you can easily discover images posted by other users, and you can of course point other people to your own portfolio. It’s also one of the quickest and slickest photo sharing services you’re going to come across, whether you’re using it on mobile or desktop.
You can use 500px for free, but you’re limited to seven uploads a week, and you have to put up with ads. Pay for a plan (from $6.49 a month or $35.93 a year) and you get unlimited uploads, ad-free browsing, and some extras like statistics on how many times your pictures have been viewed by other people.
You might be more used to opening up Twitter (Android, iOS) to despair at the state of the world, check up on the latest news, or to argue into the void, but there’s no reason why you can’t use it to post a photo feed—and you could even set up an alternative account just for pics.
You don’t get any of the advanced photo management tools that apps like Flickr or 500px have, but you do get a profile that’s easy to manage, easy to customize, and easy to post quick pics with. On the visibility side, you can make your account private if you prefer, or at least restrict who can comment on your individual tweets.
If sharing and social media features are more important to you than being able to manage galleries and build up dozens of tags, Twitter might be a viable option. The app is free to use, though Twitter Blue ($4.99 a month) gives you access to features like Undo Tweet and folders for your bookmarks.