Via.me “Review”

After Instagram changed its terms of service, I, like many others, started searching for an alternative. For me, it’s not about being paid for my photos. It was about how my photos could be used in a way that might misrepresent me. I'm also using Starmatic and Eye’Em, but I have not decided which app and social network works for me. One app that has potential is Via. The app is available for both iOS and Android OS.

Like Instagram, the app is free. Creating an account is easy using your Twitter or Facebook account. Once linked to these two social media accounts, you can find which of my friends have accounts on Via or directly invite your friends to join the service.

Via upload
Via upload

The app's layout isn't unlike Instagram’s; however, Via isn't only a photo service. The camera button allows you to take a new photo or video, or sound capture. When I pondered that, I realised that Via is like Tumblr. You can even do text-only posts.

Via feed
Via feed

The feed tab shows you content that has been uploaded by people you are following. You can show your appreciation for a photo with the like button or leave a comment. The report button is similar to Tumblr's reblog feature.

Via Explore
Via Explore

The Explore button lets you see the entire unfiltered Via media stream or enter a keyword to filter. Again, this reminds me of Tumblr.

Via activity
Via activity

The activity button shows you the activity related to your profile -- comments or likes on your photos, new followers etc.

Via profile
Via profile
Via profile
Via profile

The profile tab lets you view the content you've posted to your profile and connect to any existing Facebook and Twitter contacts.

One thing that was not clear until I visited the Via website is that a public profile page had been created for me. This is a public sharing service. There is no way to post private photos. That makes sense to me. If you want to keep your images confidential, why upload them first? Sharing with a limited group of people can be accomplished via email or a password-protected blog.

One limitation of Via is that sharing options are limited to your public profile, Facebook and Twitter. This is more limiting than most photo-sharing apps which also allow sharing to Tumblr and Flickr. This one limitation keeps me from making Via my default Instagram replacement. This might not matter to you are willing to have Via replace your Tumblr. There is also no easy way to embed Via into a WordPress blog. Several apps allowed me to do this with my Instagram images.

#Conclusion#

Via isn’t what I want in a photo-sharing app. I'm still on the lookout for the "perfect" app. Via is easy to use, has an active (but not large) community, and has a few external social sharing options. However, the lack of integration with my WordPress blog is holding me back.

3 comments

    1. I agree but ... although I deleted my account I'm back to using the service. Quite honestly, the other services just don't have the reach -- number of users -- and the API that allows third party development.

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