Users who miss the Instagram of the “old days” and are dissatisfied with the recent changes in the social network can turn to platforms exclusively photographic, such as Flickr and VSCO Cam. Since it began to invest more in Reels, Meta’s app has been accumulating criticism from much of the public, who did not approve of the new content format and the number of posts suggested by the algorithm. Many even supported a movement calling for Instagram to return to being a photo social network. The claim, however, was denied by the application, which will continue to focus on short videos.
To help those who have not adapted to the new dynamics of Instagram, Techidence listed five social networks only for photos. The VSCO Cam application, for example, offers several filters to edit your publications and has them in a feed of their own. Flickr, in addition to allowing users to favorite and comment on posts, also works as an image bank, being very useful for those who want to download content. Check out the complete list below.
Launched in 2004, Flickr is an established photography site that is available on the web and for Android, iPhone (iOS), Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. The platform works as a free image bank where users can find photos by author’s name or through lists, groups, and communities. It is also possible to follow profiles, favor, and comment on other people’s posts, and even send messages.
There are two types of Flickr accounts: the free one, where people can store up to a thousand photos or videos of up to 4 megapixels, and the subscription account, Flickr Pro, which offers unlimited storage for US$5.99 a month or US$50 a year. The paid plan allows the upload of 5K photos (5120 x 5120) of 26 MP and videos of up to ten minutes.
500px is a website for people to share, like and comment on photos. With more than 16 million users, the social network is mainly aimed at professional photographers and functions as a kind of showcase where users can even market their content. Besides the web version, the platform, whose timeline is similar to Facebook’s, is available as an app for Android and iPhone (iOS).
As with other specialized platforms, 500px has a free plan, which includes ads and limits the number of uploads to seven per week. There is also the Awesome plan, which has no restriction on uploads, does not display ads, and costs $59.88 per year or $6.49 per month, respectively. There is also the Pro plan, which gives access to a portfolio site and offers the option to customize the profile for US$95.90 a year or US$12.99 a month.
Pixelfed defines itself as a “free and ethical photo sharing platform”. With no ads, the social network is an open-source tool, which means that its code is available for anyone to access and modify according to their goals. The interface is very similar to Instagram’s, but with a focus only on photos.
Another differential is that the platform has different servers, where users sign up when creating the account. Thus, on the homepage, you can switch between the “Home feed”, which is related to your server and shows the people who are followed, to other more comprehensive feed options, such as local and global. There is also a “Discover” option, similar to Instagram’s “Explore” tab, in which content that is up on Pixelfed is displayed. The network is decentralized, and there are several servers with different themes.
Although it initially seems more complicated to use, the site is free and offers more freedom to the public. It is possible, for example, to create your server to connect with friends and set up a private photo-sharing network, which can be liked, commented on, and sent to other users.
4. VSCO Cam
VSCO Cam is a photo editing application for Android and iPhone (iOS) phones that also works as a kind of social network, where each user has his or her feed. It is worth saying, however, that interaction between people is not the focus of the app. You cannot like or comment on other people’s photos, for example, and profiles are always public, with no option to make them private. VSCO recently launched the “Spaces” tool, which allows you to create shared galleries on a specific theme, event, or location.
There is the free version of the network, which has limited interactions and editing possibilities, and the paid plan, which has a seven-day trial period and costs US$29.99 per year or US$7.99 per month, respectively. The subscription version offers more editing options, with advanced tools and a video editor.
The BeReal app proposes to encourage users to “be themselves”, unlike the content produced to generate engagement on TikTok and Instagram, for example. Available for Android and iPhone, the app has no filters and allows only one post per day. At a random time, it sends a mass notification to users so that they record and share with their friends what exactly they are doing at that moment.
The public has up to two minutes to take a picture, and BeReal simultaneously records the images from the front and rear cameras. If the user tries to take multiple pictures before posting, the app “de-duplicates” the attempts. Also, when a new daily notification appears, the previous photos are gone, leaving only your records in the “Your Memories” field, similar to Instagram’s memories.