For me as a photographer, when I’m scrolling through Instagram, it feels like I’m looking at a dying system. Like watching flowers, which are actually already dead and start losing their beauty slowly but steady.
I remember the days when Instagram was a fun place to hang out. A place where you could discover other photographers from all over the planet. A place where one click on a tag outside your ‘normal’ behavior did not unleash the algorithm to spam you with a feed completely filled with related images.
Not to mention the ads. I hate ads. Accidentally clicking on them reinforces the algorithm even more. Of course I see the need for ads from a business perspective, but there are other ways. I would gladly pay a monthly subscription to use Instagram ad-free. Well, the old Instagram that is.
Recent changes in how Instagram works have made it far less attractive for photographers. The focus has shifted to video and it’s becoming more and more of an advertising vehicle. Even in the feed of specific accounts there are ads shown every 6 posts. In the home feed you’ll see ads every 2 posts, and on top of that recommended for you. If I want some recommendations, I’ll just go to the explore tab, guys.
So my experience with Instagram has changed for the worst lately. I prefer to save a profile-url as bookmark (instagram.com/marcelborgstijn) and scroll through the images every once and a while. This prevents ads and also distraction because I only get to see the work of one person. And as an additional benefit; no stories, which are also full of ads.
But there are alternatives to Instagram
Sure, it’s my own choice to use Instagram and therefor I have to accept it the way it is. But that doesn’t mean I like it!
Biggest issue in switching to other apps is the amount of people being active on those platforms. Same goes for WhatsApp. Lots of people wanted to switch to Signal or Telegram but as long as the majority of your friends are on the other platform, so are you, more or less obliged.
We’ve seen lots of Instagram-successors lately. The most recent is Vero. This app gained traction last summer, but after a steep trip upwards, it is in decline already. Not that the app is bad, it’s just the numbers. Actually I like some of the features in Vero, like creating circles of relations and being able to post for different type of persons, like friends and family or just everyone who’s following you.
Another alternative is being developed by Michael Howard, a fellow Substack mate, and is called Foto App. Head over to his Substack to see the development of this promising photo sharing app.
Next to that I came across a YouTube video yesterday from Frames. I already knew about this magazine and I do follow them on the socials and listen to their podcast. In the video Tomasz Trzebiatowski reveals that they’re working on organizing a photo festival in Luzern, Switzerland and… the launching of a photo app within 2 / 3 weeks. You can see the video here.
Two promising alternatives showing up in the near future and undoubtedly there are more I’m not aware of yet.
The future is
I’m curious to hear your experience with Instagram both in last years and currently.
Till next time,
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Really keeping fingers crossed for the foto App 💥
Appreciation the support!!!