Instagram Alternatives

The web is buzzing ( as in angry ) about the changes Instagram made to its terms of service. Instagram -- which is now the subsidiary of Facebook -- has given itself the rights to license your photos (well mine too) for use in advertising. This has implications.

According to attorney Paul Jacobson

While the more conventional display ad model raises privacy concerns with how the ads are targeted, this new model potentially has privacy, reputational and even commercial implications for Instagram users.

I’m not sure I want a photo of my head being inserted into an ad for genital herpes. Some blog authors think every one doth protest too much.

After thinking about it for a few minutes and talking it over with my friends I decided to delete my Instagram account. This was not an easy choice. I have over 400 photos on Instagram and a small following. Deleting my account meant saying goodbye to all of that. Fortunately, there are some worthy alternatives to Instagram.


But first I exported my Instagram photos over to I found the service via a Forbes article. Moving the photos was easy. I created an account and authorized Snapjoy to import my photos from Instagram. Depending on how many photos you have on Instagram the process can take a long while. Fortunately, Snapjoy can start the process and notify you when it’s complete — even if you shut down the browser.

After the import was complete, Snapjoy created a portfolio site with all my images organized by date. I could also import my Flickr and PicasaWeb photos if I wanted to. The service offers 5GB of storage but I can get more if I convince my friends to try Snapjoy. Snapjoy also allowed me to create and download an archive (Zip file) of all my images. Each archive is stored for 7 days. There is also an iPhone app for accessing your photos or syncing your phone photos to the service.


The day I found out that Facebook was acquiring Instagram I went looking for alternatives. There where are few but one that caught my eye was Starmatic. The app and services are very similar in design to Instagram. There are a few limitations — no web profile and it’s iPhone only — but most users may not care.

The Starmatic Brownie Camera was a toy camera created by Kodak back in 1959. In 1963 Kodak introduced the Instamatic camera. So now you have a short history lesson — and some indication of where Instagram got its name — let’s move on to the app.

The app is quite basic. Take a photo, apply some filters — from a choice of 16 — and share to your choice of social network. It’s a rather limited choice; Twitter and Facebook. You can use one of those existing social networks to create an account. After capturing an image with the basic camera you can apply filters. Starmatic names these after films. After applying filters you can share your photo creating with the Starmatic community or with your Facebook and Twitter followers.

There is one very exciting option which Instagram switchers will appreciate. You can import your photos from Instagram to Starmatic. Keep in mind this imports your images only. Your followers and comments and likes won’t transfer. Starmatic allows you to comment and heart community photos and follow and be followed. Except for the lack of a web profile, this app feels like Instagram.


Back when I was a photo sharing noob, along with an Instagram account, I opened an Eye’em account. Just like Instagram, Eye’Em has a vibrant social sharing community with both an app and a web presence. The app has support for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

The app has the requisite features expected in any photo sharing app: filters, hashtagging and social sharing ( Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare). It has a lot of features an Instagram switcher might want including a social profile page, something that Instagram recently added. Eye’Em had this feature first. Just like on Instagram, you can discover new photographers to follow and post comments and “likes” of photos.


While I like prefer the user interface of Starmatic — it so similar to Instagram — I prefer the active community on Eye’Em. Starmatic will import your existing Instagram photos making the transition easier. However, with Eye'Em I will be starting over. Eye’Em has been around a lot longer and has all the features I had come to expect from Instagram. I will keep both on my iPhone for now but I expect very soon one of these two will be deleted. You can find me on Starmatic as khurtwilliams or link to my Eye’Em profile.

Author:Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.

5 thoughts on “Instagram Alternatives”

    1. Flickr is as exciting as watching paint dry. :-). I abandoned Flickr for 500px earlier this year.

      I didn't consider Flickr because it really does not have the community that Instagram has. For me Instagram is about mobile photography. People are snapping photos with iPhones and Android OS and Windows Phones. Flickr has all kinds of photographers -- DSLR etc. Not the same as Instagram at all

      1. The most popular camera on Flickr is the iPhone 5. The second most popular camera is the iPhone 4. ( The new Flickr iPhone app is pretty cool. Bottom line, Flickr is about taking pictures and sharing them. I know Flickr has been languishing of late but I think things are heating up over there. I think it could regain it's status as the dominant photo sharing site it was a few short years ago.

        1. I want my mobile photography separate from the DSLR photography. If I used Flickr then I would get all photos -- DSLR and mobile alike -- in the stream. The reason I had an Instagram account was I wanted to share which other mobile photo enthusiasts. I have 500px for inspiring DSLR photography and sharing my best with other photogs.

          Instagram was where I streamed my day to day mobile photos. My instant life. I've since moved that to Eye'Em but I'm also experimenting with others.

          I think Instagram ate Flickr's lunch and then stole their desert. Flickr has very little social compared to Instagram and alternatives.

          I no longer have a Flickr Pro account. The user interface and display of photos sucks as well compared to Flickr's UI is 1990's web design. The new app is too little, too late for me but I'll give it a chance. I don't expect I'll use it much.

          I used the money I would have spent on the Flickr Pro account and got a Awesome account. I shared my personal profile in an earlier comment. My portfolio is here :

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