Instagram has been geared specifically towards photographers for a while, but it’s still one of the most popular social media platforms for sharing photos and videos. Due to the popularity of TikTok, Instagram promotes Reels from creators you follow, and even accounts you don’t follow, in your feed rather than in photos.
Many users are fed up with using the service. There are plenty of Instagram alternatives, with VSCO being a great competitor. Here are six reasons why photographers are switching from Instagram to VSCO.
1. Profile layout
One thing that Instagram has kept for a long time is the three-photo grid on user profiles. Some people love it and are able to create beautiful grids that stick to a certain color scheme, while others don’t really like the small square preview of photos.
On VSCO, your profile is incredibly clean and professional. If you take 2×3 photos, you will be able to post that image in full size without having to crop it, which includes landscape images. The white background frames your photos, making them look like works of art.
VSCO has also paid great attention to detail regarding the user experience. A good example of this is the ability to zoom in on a photo without needing to hold it while pinching and zooming. The user profile also has a much cleaner design, with no story highlight bubbles or follower counts.
Check out our article for more reasons why VSCO is great for photographers.
2. VSCO has an iPad app
Something Instagram users have been asking for for years is a hi-res app designed for iPads and Android tablets. As of this writing, Instagram’s iPad app is just a scaled-up version of the phone app, which looks awful.
Even though VSCO is a much younger company, they understand the desires of its users.
VSCO’s iPad app is gorgeous; it has a built-in photo editor and browsing photos from creators you follow is a great experience. There are no ads in your feed, zooming in on photos is a breeze, and the VSCO app supports both portrait and landscape modes to view every type of photo orientation perfectly.
Something that Instagram has suffered from for years is a large number of bots and spam accounts. These accounts trick users into buying fake products and giving away their passwords, and they flood your direct messages and comment sections. Because of this, Instagram hasn’t really felt like a real community for a long time.
VSCO has a great way to solve this problem; there is no comment section below the images, and only joint accounts that follow each other can post messages.
It’s kind of a double-edged sword, though. On the one hand, it’s a much nicer user experience just enjoying scrolling through photos and artwork, while on the other hand, it makes VSCO feel like a nice, lonely wasteland without any community aspect. .
VSCO has tried to remedy this with a section of the app called Spaces, where you can create a shared gallery with other users you know on the platform. It’s a cool way to bring the community into VSCO, but it’s currently locked behind its membership paywall, and most of your friends aren’t on VSCO (yet).
4. No number of public subscribers
The only person who can see your follower count is you, and that’s great for several reasons. First, it drastically reduces or eliminates spam accounts and bots that are used to simply increase your subscriber count with fake user profiles to make you look more professional.
The absence of a follower count also makes you look as professional as another artist. If you show your Instagram profile to a potential client, they may initially judge you based on your follower count versus another photographer they are considering hiring with a much higher follower count. . It’s a sad truth that artists have to face in the age of social media.
The number of hidden followers levels the playing field between you and another photographer, and is also better for your self-esteem. You won’t judge yourself for having fewer followers or think that another photographer’s work is better just because they have a lot more followers.
5. Unique Photographic Inspiration
VSCO attracts a wide range of photographers, including those who shoot landscapes, cities, portraits, and wildlife, and use different types of cameras.
The photography you see on VSCO is quite unique; users on the platform seem to treat their photos more like art than on Instagram, where you’ll find more of a mix of informational posts, news, reels, user life updates than you follow and possibly artistic photographs.
Those with artist block will find VSCO a breath of fresh air. You will be inspired to step out into the world and make everything you see look like a work of art. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out different genres of photography that you’ve never tried before.
6. Weekly Photo Challenges
To inspire you, VSCO offers weekly photo challenges in the Discover tab. These challenges will be displayed at the top of the page with a hashtag. For example, if the photo challenge is #StreetViews, you can put that hashtag in your photo caption, and it will be organized in this section along with all the other photographers.
The #StreetViews challenge encourages you to get into the city, or just around your local town, and take photos of cars, buildings, people, and other aspects of city life. It’s very interesting to browse the photos of other users and it really motivates you to take a different type of photo every week.
It also gives more meaning to hashtags. Hashtags on Instagram are mainly used to promote your photos on as many parts of the social platform as possible so that people are more likely to see your work. Hashtags on VSCO seem to be more authentic, which makes finding posts on a certain topic more accurate.
There are more Instagram alternatives than VSCO.
VSCO is a beautiful lonely wasteland
It’s unfortunate that many photographers haven’t heard of VSCO yet or think it’s an app marketed only for teenage girls. Flickr, 500px, and Vero are all great alternatives, but there’s something special about VSCO that can’t be replicated by any other platform.
Although it feels quite empty of community with the lack of comments or likes, there are still plenty of unique photographers on the platform who post daily and treat each photo as a work of art. Instagram is always great for building an audience, but for those who just want to enjoy browsing photos in peace, VSCO is the perfect place to do it.