As buzz around Instagram and social sharing networks continues to build, competitors become increasingly relevant. Here we’ll take a look at the competitors in an in-depth extension of an earlier post.
Hipster –Camera and filters like Instagram, but rectangular. To these, users can add locations and comments, creating postcards. The app will also add the location automatically through GPS. Some reviews mention issues with glitches when certain filters are chosen. The concept of the application is very cool, and I personally enjoy using it. I haven’t had any issues yet, but hopefully the app can get the issues worked out.
- As of Jan 19th, 2012 the app had 100,000 users (1).
- From GooglePlay site: Rated 3.7/5 (203 ratings).
- 10,000-50,000 downloads from the Android market in the last 30 days.
Picplz – an app much like Instagram, with camera filters and a built in social network. The meme creator function is a nice feature. Many people love the app, but have been experiencing problems with updates.
- 40,000 Monthly Active Users through Facebook (2)
- From GooglePlay site: Rated 4.0/5 (8,346 ratings)
- 1M-5M installs from the Android market in the last 30 days
EyeEm – Groups photos based on categories – locations, what you are doing, a certain type of food, etc. – much like hashtags. This idea makes it easier to find new friends or followers. Many reviewers are requesting Google + integration, which could say something about user demographics. Some comments about glitches, but overall the app seems to perform smoothly.
- 20,000 MAU through Facebook (3)
- From GooglePlay site: Rated 4.0/5 (388 ratings)
- 10,000-50,000 downloads from Android market in the last 30 days.
PicYou – an Instagram-like app that boasts itself as exclusively for the iPhone. However, the reviews displayed on the App store site are negative. Someone actually recommends Instagram over the app, and another calls the app “really lame.” With 100,00 monthly active users through Facebook vs. 17 million on Instagram, I believe much of this negative sentiment comes from the fact that the social network is so much smaller than Instagram’s.
Overall, it seems that PicYou doesn’t really offer any additional services compared to Instagram.
Path – a “smart journal that lets you share your life with the ones you love.” (5)The app is designed for use between close friends, and it limits the number of friends to 150. However, you can still upload photos through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr. An interesting feature – users can respond to moments with one of five emotions: smile, frown, gasp, laugh and love. The reviews for the app are extremely positive, with a larger fan base than most that is actively growing. The application offers an interface that is described as “beautiful” and “snazzy and sleek” in most recent reviews.
- 570,000 Monthly Active Users through Facebook alone (6)
- From GooglePlay site: Rated 4.2/5 (11,467 ratings)
- 500,000-1M installs from Android market in the last 30 days
To put it all in perspective, here is a quick summary on Instagram. The comments in the Apple store state that the app is “better than Facebook” and “this is the best app ever I LOVE THIS APP.” The reviews on GooglePlay are just as good. I suppose there is something to be said for a streamlined experience and a massive social network.
- 17 million Monthly Active Users through Facebook alone, and 40 million overall (App data, reference old post)
- From GooglePlay site, Rated 4.6/5 (601,428 ratings)
- 10M-50M Android installs in the last 30 days
- From the Apple store site, Rated 5/5 (537,624 ratings)
Have you ever used these competitor apps?
Instagram has swept away Internet and mobile users into a world of filtered photos, with a heart as a “like” button. Comments are not as widely used and instead, viewing is king. Take and edit a photo, post it, scroll through others photos, scroll, see how many people liked your photo, then scroll some more; the idea is simple. But as with all basic and useful ideas, popularity spread, and imitators have emerged. Now that some users have turned up their noses at Instagram due to the Facebook takeover, where will they turn for photosharing?
Some of the new apps have photosharing (a social network) built-in, such as:
Hipster – the same concept as Instagram but with rectangular photos. To these, users can add locations and comments, basically creating postcards.
Picplz – a social photography app with a sophisticated editing program, even features a function to make memes out of your photos.
EyeEm – groups shared photos by categories such as coffee, New York, etc.
PicYou – an Instagram-like app that boasts itself as exclusively for the iPhone.
Jittergram – allows you to create a 3D-like image, called a stereogram or stereograph.
Path – an Android app called a “smart journal that lets you share your life with the ones you love.”
Other competitors take exclusively from the editing aspect of the application, offering only filters and photo editing. Some examples of these are Camera Awesome, Pixlr-O-Matic, CamWow, Camera+, Hipstamatic, and Retro Camera Plus. Though these apps do not have the social network built-in, the photos can be exported to other social photosharing apps, as well as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Hipstamatic even went so far as to forge a partnership with Instagram this March, granting users the ability to upload their Hipstamatic photos directly to their Instagrams.
Despite the failure of these competitors to reach the entire market of photosharers, some because they haven’t had the chance, and others because they decide not to (iPhone-only Apps), the recent acquisition of Instagram has pushed customers to look for alternatives. According to a recent article by Franzen, the Facebook acquisition had an extremely positive effect on PicYou downloads; and PicYou is not embarrassed to admit to the hope that users would consciously switch to their app because of the takeover.
Though competitors have seen and apparently seized their opportunity, it is hard to imagine any of these single apps rising above the intense popularity and streamlined experience provided by Instagram. Many competitor apps lack a social network, the driving force behind Instagram’s growth. The 40 million users of Instagram share their filtered photos with the online and mobile app, providing a rich network of followers, those who are followed, personal comments and clicked hearts. As Instagram builds additional partnerships and perhaps as Facebook initiates takeovers, the app will continue to dominate. The rich social network provided by the application is exclusive to Instagram. Users can login directly through Facebook, making it very easy to find other users you know and might want to follow, the very first time you use the app.
As with all social media applications, larger numbers of users contributes heavily to the value and enjoyment of Instagram. As a result, competitor apps much catch up in user numbers and the number of posts before they can dream of Instagram-like success.