With all of the recent controversy over Instagram’s policy updates, then the somewhat vague responses as to what is actually going to happen come January when the changes go into effect, it’s easy to see why some are still weary about the service.
With that said, we’ve been able to find a few strong contenders that may have the ability and the wherewithal to be great Instagram replacements, even though they’re in their infancy.
The first app we really took a liking to was Backspaces. And apparently as we liked it, so did many others, being that the developers reported that in the 24 hours after the Instagram policy update news broke, their app’s community registration grew by 1000%, which at times did cause server hiccups. Nonetheless, I still think that Backspaces is a worthwhile app, with it’s incredibly unique concept and already strong and thriving community.
The idea behind Backspaces is that rather than simply sharing single images at a time, they provide you with a way to share “Stories”, combining multiple images, captions, and words to create a richer more interactive experience.
The app has a community aspect where users can “Like” stories and “Follow” other users, and comment on stories. Users can also use hashtags in story titles and comments so their stories are searchable. The app also features customizable user profiles.
When creating a new story, users can post images either from their camera roll, or by shooting an image in-app, which allows them to use one of the app’s photo filters.
To make a story private, users can tap on the icon to the right of the title box.
Users can also add up to 1000 characters at a time to their Story.
When users first open Backspaces, they are shown their feed for their Friends, or “Following” list, but they can also look at the Featured stories, selected by the Backspaces team, as well as check out curated topics.
Users can also check out activity related to their followers and their account by tapping on the menu icon and then the activity icon.
Backspaces also announced a few days ago that they were releasing a beta version of a web interface where users could access posts to view, “Like”, and comment on them. The web interface can be accessed by going to backspac.es One aspect is that the web interface does not allow post editing.
Here’s a screenshot of the settings section of the app:
The app also has settings to allow push notifications for many of the more important aspects.
Another interesting app that could be a replacement for Instagram is Starmatic.
Starmatic is an app that is more similar to Instagram, in that users can post single images and filter them, however Starmatic offers far more filters (26 in all) and seems to be much more focused on the image creation aspect and is modeled after old Kodak Brownie cameras.
The filters offered by the app are also very nice, and offer a great variety of effects. I also liked the fact that the user has the ability to save the image without sharing while they’re experimenting with the filters. I thought that was a nice touch.
Users can also create customized profiles that include cover photos, text and profile photos, and users can also import images from their existing Instagram accounts, which can be a plus.
Also, just like Instagram, and Backspaces, users can “Like” other users images and “Follow” other users, and there are also curated “Featured” images in their own special section.
We’ll keep researching more options, but in the interim I’m leaning more towards Backspaces, as it seems to be more developed and more of an interesting concept, whereas Starmatic seems as if it might have been better off as an image editing app, and that the community aspect was more of an afterthought.