MANILA, Philippines—First, Instagram went live on Android. Some iOS purists were enraged at the loss of exclusivity of the beloved photo-sharing app. But the real invasion came early this week when it was announced that Facebook had bought Instagram. Facebook of the murky privacy policies and dubious ownership claims to user photos and Timeline dictatorship. Yes, that Facebook.
Of course, it was only a matter of time before Instagram and its developers would search for a way to generate revenue through their app—after all, hosting all those photos certainly wasn’t cheap, and accolades and professions of love are never convertible to cash. We always thought monetizing would come in the form of in-app purchases for filters or a paid upgrade to an ad-free version. We never imagined Facebook to be in the picture.
For those who are not fond of linking other social networks to Facebook, there’s still time to download all your content from Instagram if you’re feeling like jumping ship. Instaport.me offers a way to download, export and backup all your square images.
And for those who can’t bear not to have Instagram in their lives but do not want to be under Facebook’s thumb, don’t worry, there have been other Instagram wannabes waiting in the wings, and this is probably their time to shine. Check out these alternatives to Instagram, we can’t promise that the alternatives are better, but they have interesting quirks that are worth checking out:
(Free, iOS/Android, www.pudding.to)
What: The creators of Pudding Cam, one of the most awesome free toy camera apps also has pudding.to, a photo sharing site with creative filters, too. We love that you can add a mood to each photo (we’re still looking for a photo that depicts “Stormy Heart,” and some of our Instagram friends will probably use the “Self-shot” mood lots of times), and the filters are great. Self-shot lovers will love the “I’m 17” filter which promises to make your skin (but not your waistline) look like a 17-year-old’s.
What: This not-quite square image sharing app is not without its annoying bugs, but we still can’t get enough of it. Instead of square format photos run through a filter, Hipster has distinguished itself from the wannabes and has gone landscape—for postcard formats. Travel junkies will not want to leave home without this, as it lets you create and share instant postcards on the fly. Cross-posting on Tumblr, Flickr and Twitter is also available allowing you to share faster. The user interface is clean, simple and beautiful, too.
What: Meme-ify, filter and draw on your shared photos with this app. Cross-posting is also present and Picplz goes the extra mile by letting you fine tune your photo’s details with fifteen tools present in the app, no need for you to edit across different apps to get the results you want.
What: This full-featured photo sharing app has nine great filters and it also customizes your feed based on your interests, this is ideal for dog-stalkers (like myself), and for photography buffs who want to see their favorite subject shot in different styles by other enthusiasts.