Top 10 Instagram alternatives in 2021 (Updated)

Looking for a great Instagram alternative to embark on a new marketing career?

In this article, we’re going to introduce several perfect applications which can be used instead of Instagram for either business or personal purposes.

First, it’s useful to summarize Instagram’s abilities. This will help us to know why it’s gained more than 1 billion monthly active users and why we should think about some alternatives.

Instagram’s features and abilities

Instagram is a photo & video-sharing social media platform owned by Facebook, Inc. It was launched in October 2010 on iOS, in April 2012 on Android, and finally on a website in November 2012.

Using several mesmerizing features of Instagram you can share your moments with people. Here are some of the most important capabilities of Instagram:

Image editing Commenting Group messaging
Location tagging @mentions Hashtags
Private messaging Push notifications Filters
Video editing tools Stories feature User tagging
Text & drawing tools Disappearing photos & videos User profiles
Live video streaming Search functionality Public & private profiles

Although many of these features might be viral among other social services, some of them are unique on Instagram. For example, IGTV is a video-sharing feature that allows you to post videos longer than regular posts. Instagram Stories are also exceptional among top social media platforms.

Social media marketing on Instagram

The above options have made Instagram a lucrative market for businesses and also influencers. Brands try to reach out to more and more niche audiences and drive more leads on Instagram.

On the other hand, many users try to become an Instagram influencer and earn money. Surprisingly, it’s the best platform for influencer marketing. For example, U.S. marketers spend 69% of their influencer budgets on Instagram, and 68% of Instagram Users come to Instagram just to Interact with Creators and Influencers. 

Apart from these benefits, it seems that the marketing capacity of this app is being saturated. There are countless accounts for each niche now. So, it’s a bit hard to launch a new Instagram account from the beginning and succeed in marketing among the many competitors.

Many beginners are trying to buy an Instagram account to acquire users in the same nice and customize their new Instagram account. Purchasing an account can help them to save time in building brand awareness on Instagram.

However, this is another reason you need to take care of other social media platforms as Instagram alternatives while building your marketing strategy. Many brand-new social media apps are emerging each day, and you don’t want to get on to the platform when it’s far too late.

Each of these apps can be an excellent opportunity to build your brand identity and expand your audience reach. A handful of these applications listed are old social apps that might be of great use for your marketing strategies.

Instagram alternatives

Here are several other social media services you can use as an alternative for Instagram.

1. TikTok

ByteDance is a tech company in Beijing that was founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It’s running several applications, including TikTok, which is a flagship among the ByteDance applications. 

TikTok is a video-sharing social service launched in 2017 and has been the fastest-growing social media and the most downloaded applications worldwide. The application has reached 2.6 Billion downloads worldwide in Google Play and Apple App Store, which is mind staggering, considering how many years it has been on the social media platform. 

Furthermore, TikTok has had more than 800 million active users in more than 150 countries. With its users spending more than 500 Minutes on the App Per Month,  or an average of 52 minutes per day, which is higher than the 28 minutes that users spend on Instagram. Usually used for creating short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. But “fun” is the core objective of all the videos, and why more than 60% of TikTok American users are between 16 to 30 years of age—making TikTok the best platform to market products and services related to youngsters and Teens.

2. Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the best social media networks, with 398 Mountly Active Users and 238 million active daily users based on October 2020 Statistics.

It’s a popular service among youngsters, with 78% of internet users aged 18-24 who use Snapchat and 90% of Snapchat users 13-24. Moreover, there are 4 Billion Snaps Created daily in the form of Photos and Videos. 

Just like Instagram, Snapchat also has many great features. It’s impressive that Snapchat first came up with the idea of Stories. However, Instagram Stories, which were launched after Snapchat Stories, are way ahead of the competition.

The unique feature of self-destructive ‘Snaps’ is another great feature of Snapchat, making it an alternative for Instagram. Despite the faster growth of Instagram, you can’t ignore Snapchat’s marketing abilities, significantly since users spend over 30 minutes on the app per day.

3. Pinterest

Pinterest is another fantastic social media image sharing and networking platform founded in 2009. It allows you to share, discover, and save information from the internet by utilizing images, videos, GIFs, and more through your account. 

A visual discovery of ideas, interests, and niches, Pinterest is a platform that sparks inspiration within its users, always to allow their growth. More than 200 Billion posts labeled as “Pins” presents excellent opportunities for Brands and Businesses. 

Pinterest has above 320 Million Active Users per Month; more than 8 percent of these users are U.S users. This data shows that Pinterest has great potential for local and global companies to invest. 

One astonishing statistic that might be important to you is that 71% of the Worldwide users of Pinterest are females. In the United States alone, 83% of women between the ages of 25 to 54, who 80% make buying decisions for households, are active on Pinterest. 

Furthermore, 85% of Women on Pinterest plan their life circumstances and situations on Pinterest, which is much higher than 44% on Instagram or 53% on Facebook. Henceforth if your target audience is women, you should consider investing on Pinterest.

4. VSCO

VSCO is also a known application for iOS and Android. With similar Instagram and Facebook functions, it includes the same registration steps, the ability to have an avatar, and publishing photos and videos.

A creative channel built with tools, spaces, and driven connections of self-expression, the Visual Supply Company was founded by Joel Flory and Greg Lutze in U.S California, in 2011. 

VSCO had just recently started making the news, and today it has 40 million monthly active users. Through advanced photo processing features, you can use the app to improve your images and use both free and paid filters, lights, contrasts, colors, and creative and unique elements to photos. 

The platform is trendy among young schoolers, with the choice to share your photos among your connections or save them into your phone without posting them.

5. Lasso

Lasso is another application owned by Facebook, just like Instagram and Whatsapp. Its core focus is on short-video sharing.

It’s coincidentally a rival for TikTok. However, the number of downloads and installations of Lasso can’t be compared to TikTok. Despite the app’s quality, it can’t get ahead of the competition with TikTok, but it’s still an Instagram alternative, with 70 Thousand Users only in the U.S. 

It can connect with Facebook to help users upload their short videos/music and search trending ones using hashtags.

6. Vero

Vero’s motto is “more social, less media”. It was launched by Ayman Hariri, Motaz Nabulsi, and Scott Birnbaum.

Its purpose was to be an alternative to Instagram and offer an ad-free approach to social media. One of its bold missions was to stay clear from data mining and control over your personal data.

Apart from numerous similarities it has with top social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram, it has some of these important differences.

7. Retrica

Retrica is another application similar to Instagram available for Android and iOS platforms. Its primary focus is on selfies, and just like many other social platforms, Retrica also allows you to share your moments with your connections.

It also has several differences compared with other services on Instagram. Namely, to exemplify applying filters before taking pictures and creating GIFs from videos and collages.

In this regard, it’s one of the closest alternatives to Instagram and the best option if you are looking for a free platform on iOS and Android.

7. Hipstamatic

Hipstamatic is another application similar to Instagram. It’s now only available for Apple iPhones and Windows Phone.

Hipstamatic also provides users with several software filters to apply to their photos before or after taking it. Using these filters, images will look as though they are taken by vintage cameras.

It’s actually a digital photography application and its interface looks like a classic camera. The important thing is that it can’t be used as a social network. But its edited photos can be shared via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr.

8. Flickr

It’s time to introduce one of the oldest Instagram alternatives, Flickr. It was launched six years sooner than Instagram (i.e. in 2004).

The thing is that it used to operate solely as a web photo/video sharing service for almost the first nine years. Perhaps, this is the main reason why Instagram is much more successful.

Now its mobile version is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. But it may be a little late.

On April 20, 2018, SmugMug acquired Flickr from Verizon’s Oath. Immediately, it restricted the Flickr 1TB storage plan for free users with a deadline until February 5, 2019.

It was already losing tens of millions of dollars. It has now more than 75 million active users. By the way, the app is very similar to Instagram. It’s perfect for organizing photos and albums.

9. Tumblr

Tumblr is a social networking website for microblogging based in the US. David Karp founded it in 2007, and Automattic currently owns it.

It hosts more than 465 million blogs, with approximately 347.5 million visitors worldwide. Apart from all similarities to Instagram, Tumblr is not limited just to multimedia content. In other words, you can post text, audio, articles, and, more importantly, insert links to websites.

Like Instagram, Tumblr users are usually teenagers and Millennials, hence highly suitable for brands related to these age groups.

10. Steller

Steller users can upload images/videos and tell their stories adding various layouts. So, it’s very similar to Instagram. If you want to tell a story with a series of images, you can then add new videos or images before sharing them.

There is a feature called ‘Collections’ which is designed to help you find new accounts. You can then follow them just like on Instagram.

As it’s described itself, you can create beautiful social media stories. Since stories are one of the most popular features among Instagram users, Steller is a perfect alternative for it.

Final word

We tried to summarize several important Instagram alternatives based on their abilities. Of course, none of them have all the capabilities of Instagram. However, you do need to consider them if you wish to be ahead of future trends. Change is constant in social media, and you have to be ready for anything that may go viral.

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