Chances are you were either asleep, spending time in real life or just doing something other than taking picture of your food with bad filters in order to notice Instagram went down this past weekend.
How it happened or why it happened really isn't the subject of this piece but rather to aid you in the event you were among the multitude that took to Twitter to complain how you couldn't upload your latest drink or send your heart shaped symbol of support to some aspiring model. Yes folks, just like I did earlier for you, here are some Instagram alternatives. And before I begin, this list will NOT include Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter or Flipboard. If it did, why would you need me?
1. Mobli – If Facebook and YouTube had a love child, Mobli would be that symbol of their affection. Here you exchange “friends” for “viewers” (people who stalk you.) and “watching” (people who you stalk.). One thing I believe Mobli does better than anyone else is what it does with the “tags” you put on your pictures. It turns them into channels on the “Featured” tab. This is available for Android, iOS and Blackberry.
- Lots of Filters
- “Tags” move your pictures and videos into Channels
- Video Sharing
- Can important Instagram photos
- Pictures uploaded at full resolution
2. StreamZoo – I know, part of the fun of Instagram is defending your addiction of turning crisp hi-res photos into over-exposed Polaroid or old newspaper clippings from 1923. But imagine if filters were actually cool? Ok, they didn't do that but if anyone came close, it is the developers at Phonezoo Communications, Inc. For those design purists reading this, you can crop photos using the Golden Ratio (among other choices). That is by far my favorite feature. Oh and did I mention, this app also does video as well! Available for Android and iOS.
- Image Editing Options: 18 filters, 15 borders, & 4 ways to tweak colors.
- Different cropping options from Golden Ration to 16×9.
- Filters, borders, color tweaks aren’t tide together.
- Simple UI
- Very responsive
- Video capture with the app fails upon loading.
3. Ulooki – If Cinemax sponsored a photo-sharing site, this would be it. Consider yourself warned, if you are in a relationship, DO NOT click the “Top Rated” or “Most Viewed” button. 18 out of the top 20 images viewed are definitely R to NC-17 rated. There were some excellent shots that were risqué and I believe the platform has legitimate merit but users make identities, not platforms. And speaking as a platform, Ulooki has a lot going for it. The emphasis is on leaving feedback instead of collecting followers or viewers. This puts the focus on the art of image, not the ego of the individual. This one is only available on Android.
- Assortment of Borders for pictures
- Image Editing Options: 15 Filters, 10 overlays and 11 borders
- Emphasis is on giving feedback, not collecting it.
- Top content is risqué
- Exploration is limited
- No tags that I could find
None of these are direct substitutes for Instagram's critical mass adoption or ease of use. Playing with these, I understand why Instagram became so popular – It gives you the bare minimum of features, UI design, it's blindingly fast and it’s has a very low learning curve.
But when Instagram disappears in an instant, feel free to take any one of these three for a test drive.
Out of these three, my favorite is StreamZoo because of the sizing options, but by all means, try them all and tell me which one you like. Or better yet, know of one I didn't mention?
Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter with your favorite alternatives.[hr]
About the Author: Darryl Cobb – I consider myself the Gordon Gecko of Tech, because tech never sleeps…I’m also a hip hop head, wanna be astronaut and believer in No Wack Demos! Follow me on Twitter.