Five good Instagram replacements

If Facebook playing games with Instagram's terms of services has left you with a bad taste in your mouth, here are some Instagram alternatives for you.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
Instagram-All your Pictures belong to FaceBook
Facebook can say what they want, this is how many Instagram users see its new rules. Image courtesy of Bill Ries-Knight.

Some people believe that Facebook's Instagram recently changed terms of service policy change is nothing-less than an attempt to steal the rights to their photos.. Facebook claims they're just clarifying their rights and that "It is not our intention to sell your photos." Oh yeah, I believe that.

I think anything you put up on the Internet, especially a social network, can be swiped and that Facebook, in particular, has always played fast and loose with its users' rights and privacy. After all to Facebook, you're the product. They have to turn the information you trust them with into money some how and if they can do that by licensing your photos to third parties so be it.

Seriously, Facebook buying Instagram was one of the all-time bad tech company acquisitions. Think about it. Facebook paid a cool billion for Instagram for some filters and a small social network. If you do the math Facebook paid about $28 for each of Instagram's 35 million users. I don't care what Facebook says about its intentions, one way or the other Facebook must end up monetizing your images to make back its billion bucks.

So, if you'd rather not see your images bought and sold by Facebook, or legally speaking Facebook licensing your images to others without your permission, I suggest it's time to abandon Instagram and look for a replacement.

If all you want to do is just add cute filters to your photos, and then manually upload them to Twitter, Google+, or e-mail them to aunt Flo, there's an numerous programs, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements that will meet your needs. If you want easy to use, quick filters, and built-in social network integration, here are the programs my photo-loving friends recommend.


I know what you're thinking, "Flickr? Seriously, I thought it was dying." True a few months ago this once popular Web editing and sharing site was in trouble. With former Google executive Marissa Mayer in charge of Flickr's parent company Yahoo, Flickr's on the way back.

In particular, the new Flickr iPhone app is looking really sweet. Yahoo promises that they'll be a version for Android coming out soon. I'm looking forward to trying it out. Like the sounds of that, but don't want to move all your images?, A new service, freethephotos, has just been released to automate migrating your images from Instagram to Flickr.


Google acquired Nik Software, Snapseed's parent company, in September 2012. Not long after the ink was dry on the contract, Google released free versions of Snapseed for both Android and iOS.

It offers more photo-editing functionality than Instagram. Snapseed is closely tied to Google+, unlike Instagram, which recently cut ties with Twitter, you can easily share your shots on other social networks.


I'm an awful photographer, but Camera+'s tools go a long way to making me into... well OK a mediocre photographer, but still better than I had been. People who are far more serious about their photography will also appreciate its numerous higher-end features.

One unique feature is that it lets you take take front-facing photos in low-light on an iPhone. How does it pull this trick off? By using your iPhone/iPad display as one giant flash. Now, if only Camera+ was available on Android devices I'd love it.


Backspaces is another iPhone only app but since it's open-source, it may not stay that way. The nice thing about Backspaces is that, besides all the usual funky filters, it makes it easy to upload multiple photos into stories. If the idea of telling stories through images appeals to you, you should check this program out.


This is another open-source iPhone only application. If you really liked the Instagram look and feel, Anypic gives you the closest approximation to it of any app I've used.

Based on the Parse mobile app platform, I have high hopes that Anypic will only improve in the future. Indeed Parse goes way beyond the call of open-source duty in providing complete instructions on how to tweak, or even fork, Anypic into being exactly the photo app you want it to be. If you're both a photographer and a programmer, you have to look into Anypic.

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