Did you know Instagram didn’t start out as Instagram? Yes, it was initially called Burbn until its creator Kevin Systrom gave the platform a first image, renaming it Instagram (instant + telegram). While the app initially focused on being a social platform for smartphone photography, the current state of Instagram is all about reels and short videos. Many people may like the resulting changes, but there’s also a large section that prefers to see the app go back to its roots. Unfortunately, we don’t see that happening anytime soon, so here are some apps you might like if you want a classic photo-sharing experience.
BeReal is by no means your usual social media app. If you’re tired of all the time you spend on Instagram, or any other social platform for that matter, you’ll love BeReal’s no-frills approach. First released in 2020, BeReal, as the name suggests, encourages you to “be real”. Every day you share a photo without any filter with your friends and loved ones to show them what you do.
They can then leave comments and reactions on your post. Another unconventional approach the app takes is that photos clicked using it contain images from your front and back camera, so people can see what you look like and where you are.
Despite the similar names, rest assured, one has nothing to do with the other. If you consider yourself the artistic type or are a professional artist/photographer, then Behance is easily one of the best social platforms to showcase your creative work.
Owned by Adobe, the platform has over 24 million users and is a great place to find potential clients, seek inspiration or just show off your photos. The app’s interface shares a lot with Instagram with a bottom tab for navigation and even lets you share “stories”. It also lets you follow other accounts and like their work.
Tumblr was once hugely popular, but it’s lost the game. Tumblr lets you share photos, memes, videos, and GIFs, but it’s actually so much more than that. You can also share text posts and links to interesting things you’ve found on the internet. One of its main selling points is that you can customize your own blog (or profile) to your liking. There aren’t any Instagram-like “stories” here either, so if you think Instagram has just gone down the drain since introducing full-screen content to its platform, Tumblr may be the right choice for you.
You may have seen many Instagrammers linking their VSCO profiles on their bio. The popular image-editing app is also a social platform, allowing you to share photos captured through it (and elsewhere) with over 100 million users. There’s not much interaction here – users can’t like or comment under the photos. But they can follow other users and share their work with others, as long as they both follow each other. There is a discovery section where you can browse a feed of aesthetic images. And once you follow users, you can see their latest uploads on your home feed.
It may not have the largest user base, but 500px may be the closest to the classic Instagram experience in this list. It does not support videos, but your uploaded photos can be liked and commented on. You can even find other photographers through the Discover page and follow them. The app also has a built-in equivalent for Instagram DMs – although you’ll probably use it more for professional communication since the app is advertised as a “leading community and social network for budding photographers and photographers.” in exercise”.