To say that brands weren’t happy with Instagram’s recent rollout of new Terms of Service — which were due to take effect on January 16, 2013 — is an understatement.
The free iOS and Android photo sharing app, launched in October 2010, had quickly emerged as an effective marketing tool. Companies realized that they could build brand recognition and consumer loyalty through an ongoing stream of photos that helped personalize their brand, and many were very successful in doing so.
Users were furious. One of their top concerns: Whether their photos could be used in advertisements without their permission. By the next day, Instagram had posted a statement in its blog trying to address the concerns that arose. “Legal documents are easy to misinterpret,” it said. Although Instagram has since reverted to its former advertising policy, the damage had been done.
What to do? In light of these developments, many users are looking elsewhere for alternative photo-sharing apps. There are a lot of terrific ones out there, many of which are far more robust.
Here are 9 photo apps to try:
Don’t miss Pxlr-o-matic, one of the most talked about and popular photo apps, with over two million combinations to make your photos look spectacular. It’s so easy that anybody can create stunning shots (including me).
This fun and simple darkroom app makes it easy to add an effect, overlay, and border to get that retro, grunge, clean, or stylish look, all in just three simple steps. And with more options than any other photo app, you’ll never be out of new styles. If you can’t get the right combination of effects to personalize your shots, Pxlr-o-matic allows you to randomize filters, borders, and overlays. Share on Facebook, DropBox, iTunes, Flickr, or via email. There’s the PLUS version with even more options for just $0.99.
Snapseed is a fun and powerful app designed to enhance and share your photos, developed by the same people that create some of the most widely used professional tools for digital photography. Snapseed puts the power of photographic enhancements at your fingertips and makes it possible for anyone to enhance, transform, and share photos.
Snapseed’s vision is to deliver a photo editing experience so fun, so easy, and so powerful that it will be the only photo editing, tweaking, sharing app you’ll want to use, and it largely succeeds. With an intuitive gesture interface, Snapseed gives you the power to saturate and tilt shift your photos, or play around with filters and frames.
Hipster is a fun way to share where you are and what you’re doing. It offers a unique integration of text and geotagging that lets you create virtual postcards to share on Facebook and Twitter. Tag friends or add date and place names to your images for a personal touch.
Simply take a snap or upload from your gallery. Add text, edit, add a cool filter and share across your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare. Simple to use and with some very cool effects
Of the photo apps out there, few come close to Camera Awesome. It has 297 presets, filters, textures, and frames, along with and many other features like image stabilization and burst modes.The free app from SmugMug is more of a wholesale camera app then a filter specialty app — its specialty “Awesomize” button is a powerful auto-fix button with a great name — but it does come with 9 Instagram-like camera filters. The app’s filters can be used with a cool sliding-scale functionality of distortion, so users can choose the hipness level they hope to achieve.
There are also 63 more filters available for download; you can pay $0.99 for 9 filters or $3.99 for all 63.
Free for iOS
One of the most popular third-party camera apps for iPhone, Camera+ is probably the most loved for its well-designed, easy-to-use Lightbox editing suite. Lucky for those fleeing Instagram, that Lightbox also contains a huge set of filters and borders. The app doesn’t come with a social network of its own like Instagram does, but if you’re looking for an excellent camera first with Instagram-like filters second, Camera+ is a safe, attractive choice.
$0.99 for iOS
Tadaa is a beautifully designed app — one of the best — with many, many filters that can be viewed in real time and adjusted after the fact. It also includes options for rapid-fire shooting and tilt-shift photography, which you can use to make it look like you’re shooting miniatures. The interface — especially on the touch-calibrated editing suite — is slick and attractive, and Tadaa also features a growing social photography community.
Free for iOS
Streamzoo is a free, fun and easy way to create and share beautiful photos that’ll have your friends begging to know how you did it. The app lets you follow users (@) or subjects (#), and incorporates a badge and reward system to encourage participation in the community. Choose from 20 filters, 15 borders and six crop shapes, then share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr.
Use CamWow and take your iPhone, iPod, or iPad camera into the past with some of the most beautiful and unique vintage effects. Unlike Pixlr-o-Matic and Camera Awesome, CamWow adds the effects in real-time, so you can see what the filters will look like as you’re taking the photo. The free version of CamWow is essentially pointless: A banner ad stretches across the bottom of the app, and you have to pay $1.99 to remove a hideous CamWow watermark from your photo.
Free for iOS — a $1.99 in-app purchase is really worth it
Hipstamatic takes the Instagram/Kodak connection to the next level: Where Instagram borrowed the filtered look from the venerable photography company and ported it onto the iPhone, Hipstamatic borrows the whole camera.
Shooting with the Hipstamatic camera, you choose your film, your lens, and your flash — the different combinations result in different effects. The standard app costs $1.99 and comes with three different flashes, film rolls and four different lenses — you can buy more of these with “Hipstapaks,” available to purchase inside the app. It’s fun to use, if only because it might be the only camera app for the iPhone on which you have no idea what your final product is going to look like until after it’s “processed.”
$1.99 for iOS