If you’re old enough to remember being amazed whenever someone emailed you a photo, even though it took several minutes to download a single image, you’re probably relieved that technology has advanced so much. These days, people send photos back and forth like it’s no big deal, and social media has played a huge role in the online photo sharing revolution. For a while there, sharing photos through email messages and websites like Flickr was the only option. Social networking sites like Facebook made them more accessible, and mobile social media photo apps improved things even more.
Most would agree that Instagram was the best of the best. Unfortunately, it tumbled from grace once the public became aware of its terms of service, which were going to state that Instagram reserves the right to use users’ photos and meta-data as it sees fit. They recently changed their tune, but there’s a lot of users who have simply lost trust for the service. Luckily, there are plenty of great alternatives out there, and I’ve hand-picked five of the best ones that I’ve found.
- Flickr - You read that correctly: Flickr is roaring back to life thanks to an incredible new photo-sharing and photo-editing app for iOS. The popular site, which is owned by Yahoo, ended up alienating much of its user base by failing to keep up with popular photo-sharing advancements. It’s more than redeemed itself with this slick app, which includes a variety of cool filters and robust social media sharing features. With a Flickr account, you can now access your photos on any device. As an added bonus, the app features excellent privacy tools and blows away many other photo applications in that regard.
- Camera Awesome - You might consider this to be the bigger, badder version of Instagram. The basic app is free, but for a measly $3.99 you gain access to more than 60 additional filters. Its interface is very user-friendly. You can even swipe from one effect to the next to see how it affects your photo. It also includes all of the usual social share options, so you can show off your creations on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Out of all of the photo apps out there, this is definitely one of the most versatile and enjoyable.
- Pixlr-o-Matic - This clever app is chock-full of neat filters and effects. In fact, the free version boasts 29 filters and another 30 light effects. There is also a variety of cool borders, so the possibilities for transforming and editing an image are endless. By coughing up an extra 99 cents, you’ll gain access to even more filters, effects and borders. The thing that makes this app especially notable is the fact that it has a desktop version as well that you can use with a webcam. No matter where you go, you can create unique, stylish photos and share them with your contacts on social media.
- Snapchat - When it comes to sharing on social media, Snapchat has added a new layer of fun. This app immediately shot to stardom on the App Store and elsewhere because it allows you to share photos, videos and messages that expire in one to 10 seconds. Recipients can only see what you send for a very brief window of time. If they aren’t there to see what you’ve sent, they have no way to go back and retrieve it. This app is really addicting, and it’s especially popular with teens and young adults. It’s sort of a hybrid between Instagram and Twitter, and it’s perfect for the ephemeral nature of digital technology.
- Facebook Poke - There’s no doubt about it: This app is a blatant rip-off of Snapchat. Facebook clearly saw what a big deal Snapchat had become and wanted a piece of the action. Reviews for this app on the App Store are mixed, but that’s mostly because it doesn’t really offer anything unique. Still, it is associated with Facebook, and it allows you to send quickly expiring messages, videos and photos right through the popular social networking site. If you’re logged on to Facebook most of the time, you’re sure to enjoy this app. Facebook will undoubtedly find ways to use this app for social media marketing purposes. As of right now, however, it just seems to exist for the fun of it.
Thanks to today’s great photo-sharing apps, it’s easier than ever to share your digital snapshots with the world. What’s even better is that you can quickly and effortlessly tweak them to make them look absolutely incredible. Whether you stick with a free app or choose to splurge on one that costs a few bucks, you’re sure to have a blast. Some of these apps are strictly designed for fun. Certain apps, like Flickr, attempt to do a lot more. Savvy online marketers will explore all of these apps and similar options to make the most of the photo-sharing revolution.
Have any great photo sharing apps to add to the list? Please comment below!