There is no denying that the digital age has changed photography beyond the wildest dreams of someone living even forty years ago. Photography has helped us keep track of life’s best moments and helps us keep a record of who we were and what we looked like throughout our lives, but these days that’s just the beginning. Photographs can be used to build an online business, to gain fans all across the world and to not only capture but also share your experiences instantly no matter where you are.
A Brief History of Photography
Did you know that the oldest photograph was taken in the 1820s? Back then photography was a long, difficult process that involved toxic chemicals and massive appliances, but that all changed in 1888 when the first ever Kodak camera was developed for common use. Over the years these cameras’ got smaller in size, they were developed to take color photos and they eventually became the camera’s that captured our child hood years. These were the camera’s that were used to fill our photo albums and scrap books before digital cameras and later camera phones took over. It’s amazing to think that all this stuff is still so new; even twenty years ago you couldn’t just take a photo and instantly share it with your friends let alone thousands or even millions of people and yet these days it’s not just possible, it’s taken for granted.
Photo Sharing Sites
There are so many platforms for you to share your images on these days. Image hosting has a lot of benefits; it can clear storage space in your phone if you upload and delete your photos, several of these platforms have editing options that can help you get the best out of your photographs, and other photo sharing sites can help you reach thousands of people and even helps you build your own online following.
What’s Wrong with Flickr?
Flickr is a good sharing platform, but it does have its limitations. Flickr started out in 2003 when a husband and wife created the image sharing facility as part of a game they were developing. They realized that the best feature of the game was in fact the photo sharing facility as this kind of feature was very in demand in the olden days when storage space was hard to come by and cost money, and so Flickr was created and it flourished for a while. The accessibility of the product and the creator’s humbleness went a long way to secure loyalty and before you knew it everyone and their grandma was sharing their images via Flickr.
This was, of course, until they sold Flickr to Yahoo.
Yahoo and Flickr
Flickr’s ownership of Yahoo originally looked like it was going to be a good thing. They raised the maximum storage capacity for both free and premium members and it looked like they were going to establish Flickr as one of the noughties most successful social media platforms. Unfortunately, Yahoo was primarily concerned with business rather than social media or innovation and as a result they wanted to capitalize on the image sharing for profits.
Yahoo commercialized Flickr in a way that a lot of its early fans just didn’t like, and it didn’t help that a few years later Yahoo insisted that anyone who wanted to use Flickr had to have a Yahoo email address before they could log in. The launch of the Flickr app wasn’t a success either and it seemed that the two most important things about Flickr, I.e. storage and social image sharing, didn’t seem to be on the agenda any more.
What started as a promising start-up ended with a big business take over that was more interested in integrating its own products than investing in the smaller companies it had accumulated and unfortunately as a result Flickr just doesn’t have the community spirit and popularity that platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook offer.
Whilst Flickr remained popular with some people (and it is still used today) it’s integration with Yahoo meant it lost out on a lot of its potential. Flickr was eventually over taken by YouTube, Facebook and eventually Instagram and it now languishes somewhere further down the top 100 social media apps on the Google play store.
Best Flickr Alternatives for Photo sharing
If you want an alternative photo sharing platform that offers the best of Flickr without the disadvantages, then you have come to the right place. See below for our list of the top ten best alternatives to Flickr!
1. 500 px
500px is the ideal platform for photography enthusiasts and professionals alike. This start-up company was launched from Toronto in 2009 and since then it has become a popular platform for creatives all around the world.
With 500px you can upload and share photos from your mobile, tablet or laptop as well as via Flickr, Dropbox, Facebook and other social media platforms. 500Px lets you come across amazing images which could have been taken by anything from a professional DSLR camera to a smart phone. 500Px is all about creativity and art, and as a result you can discover and connect with some amazing artists and photographers from all over the world whilst also showcasing your own work.
Like Instagram and Twitter 500px has a ‘follow’ option which lets you keep up to date with your favorite photographers as well as your personal friends, and you can also share your thoughts by liking and commenting on photos. This is not just a social media platform however and you can use 500px to buy other people’s photography and even sell your own creations.
This Website Has Four Membership Options
The first option is entirely free. You can sign up to 500px for free and still earn money from your photos, but you are limited to 20 uploads a week.
The plus membership option gives you unlimited downloads, Google analytics and advanced statistics for just $2.08 a month.
The Awesome membership package is the most popular. It gives you all of the above options plus 3,000GB of extra storage space, the chance to personalize your portfolio and the chance to turn your portfolio into a full-blown website. This package costs $6.25 a month
The last membership package is the ‘Awesome + Adobe’ package. This option lets you do all of the above plus all that Adobe Photoshop can offer. This includes advanced software, photo editing and of course Photoshop. You can have all this for just 13.75 a month.
Best Features: Accessible platform, affordable membership options, ability to sell your work and buy photography from others, strong community.
If you’re a meme addict or a cat picture enthusiast, then Imgur may be for you. This popular image sharing platform has its very own meme creator so if you have a good idea for a meme you don’t have to wait for someone else to think of it and if your meme appeals to enough people it could even go viral! It is possible to browse Imgur images without signing up but as Imgur now offers a totally free membership that lets you upload unlimited photos there really isn’t any reason not to.
You have the opportunity to favorite an image or vote a particular image up or down, and you can also save images and share them with your friends. Once you have an Imgur account you can post public photos or create a totally private album for your eyes only. It is also possible to use Imgur as a social networking site as you can connect with fellow users and send each other messages. If you are a serious photographer than Imgur may not be for you, but if you have a soft spot for memes (who doesn’t these days?) or you just want to look at some pictures of cats then this is the website for you.
Best features: Free account, meme creator, easy to browse images without signing up, options for private and public posts, unlimited uploads, interaction with other users.
Deviantart refers to itself as the world’s largest online art gallery, and they may well be right. DeviantArt has been around for 16 years now and during that time not only have they gained 38 million users but they also get over 65 million hits every single month. With over 160,000 works of art being uploaded to the website every day you’re sure to find something you like. Whether you’re into obscure anime, fan art, pixel art, films, photography or painting you’re bound to stumble across tons of like-minded people.
Deviantart is known for its digital art and fan art, but it is also home to many professional artists and photographers as well as up and coming artists and art enthusiasts all over the world. There are tons of options on the website that will help you engage with fellow artists including groups, forums and chat facilities that you can use to give and receive feedback and meet new like-minded friends.
Many artists also use Deviantart as their online portfolio, so if you are serious about your work it is definitely worth a visit. It is possible to browse through uploaded art without signing up for an account, and you can find and connect with professional artists for feedback and insight.
You can set up an online account for free and upload up to 2GB of images, or you can opt for the premium version which is only $4,95 a month.
Best Features: Online portfolio, popular platform, chat facilities, forum facilities, possible to connect with well-known artists, nurturing community environment, diverse content.
Instagram is a popular social media app that lets you share unlimited photos with the community. It is possible to use Instagram via the online website, but it is intended as a mobile app and it does work better as such.
Over 300 million people currently use Instagram and because of that it is a great place to promote your blog or other online content. Some people have become so popular on Instagram they have been able to make a career out of their following, and although you may think this only applies to models in reality food photographers, travel photographers, artists and practically any other kind of creative person can use Instagram to share their art and/or market their work.
Instagram is perhaps most famous for its filters which let you change the tone and style of your image depending on the kind of mood you want to convey, and it also offers more advanced editing options which can help make your photos the very best they can be. You can find pictures on practically any subject by searching the relevant hash-tag, and you can also increase your Instagram following by using these hash-tags yourself so anyone who searches for a particular word can come across your image.
You can also share your Instagram photo’s across multiple social media platforms including Facebook, you can upload short videos, you can take photographs directly from Instagram or choose to use an existing image, and you can send your images privately to other Instagram users via the Instagram Direct option. Best of all Instagram is completely free!
Best Features: Free, Unlimited Downloads, Filters, Hashtags, marketing opportunities, chance to increase your following, mobile app, user profiles, short videos.
SmugMug is a premium website service that is ideal for professional photographers and those who may want to sell their work online. SmugMug allows you to create a gallery layout, customize your website and it offers some great tools that you can use to make your photo gallery truly unique. This website is fairly easy to use with a simple upload, drag and drop design and it is also fully customizable, meaning if you do want to use your SmugMug account as a portfolio or as a way to sell your art you have tons of options to help get you started.
You’ll also never need to worry about losing your photos again, because once they are added to SmugMug they are fully protected and can be downloaded at any time. If privacy is a concern SmugMug has you covered because you have the option of letting everyone who visits your site view your images or you can grant access to a trusted few.
SmugMug has a few membership plans to choose from. If you’re not sure if SmugMug is for you they do offer a 14-day free trial before you commit.
The basic package is only $3.34 a month and is great if you just want to upload your photos for personal use and extra storage space.
The power package is $5.00 a month (or 8 if you are on a monthly billing plan). This package offers more control over your site and extra customization options.
The portfolio package is ideal for people who want to use SmugMug to sell their photos.
The business package is for established photographers who already have a business up and running and need a platform so that they can showcase and sell their images effectively.
Best features: Ideal for professional or wannabe professional photographers, affordable prices, easy to use, secure, easy to customize, can be used to sell and/or promote your photography.
ThisLife (now known as Shutterfly) is a photo sharing platform that lets you create beautiful photo albums, greeting cards, websites, gifts and more. You can use Shutterfly to upload all your images from your tablet, phone and computer onto the website and manage them all from one location.
Shutterfly is packed with features that can help you get the most out of your photos. Shutterfly lets you turn your photo’s into holiday cards, gifts, mugs, prints and even calendars, but that’s just the beginning. All users will get unlimited photo uploads, your images will never be deleted, and it is packed with features including auto-uploading, sideshows, facial recognition and automatic tags.
Shutterfly offers free membership and your first 25 prints will be free as well. When you sign up you’ll get free storage, tools and features and a free newsletter to help you learn more. Shutterfly also offers an affiliate program which helps you earn money by encouraging other people to sign up with Shutterfly and become active users.
Best Features: Unlimited space, ability to turn images into gifts, auto-uploading, slideshows, facial recognition, free membership, 25 free prints, affiliate program.
Photobucket is a popular photo sharing platform that currently has over 10 billion uploaded images. Photobucket will keep your photo’s safe and ensure you never lose them if your phone breaks, you can use Photobucket to print off your images and make them look fantastic, it is easy to share your photo’s on other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook etc., and you can also browse other people’s photography for some extra inspiration.
You will be able to upload all major picture formats on Photobucket, you will have advanced privacy options to ensure the only people who see your photos are people you know and trust via the password protection option, and you can upload photos from Facebook or a direct URL if you don’t have the image stored on your device.
It is free to sign up with Photobucket and if you choose the free plan you will receive 2 GB or space, and then if you require more space or extra features there are premium options ranging from $2.99 to $39.99 per month
Best Features: Popular platform, keeps your photo’s safe, possible to upload to multiple platforms, advanced privacy options, free membership package.
8. Google Photos
This stand-alone photo gallery app will automatically back up your images so you never have to worry about losing your photos. This is a forward thinking and useful app that is everything you would expect from Google.
Google photos gives you unlimited storage space and it can help you free up space on your phone as once an image is uploaded it can be deleted from your device, it has a range of editing options and filters so you can get the most out of your pictures, you can use this app to create movies, collages and animations from your pictures, the app will automatically arrange your pictures into accessible and attractive photo galleries, and it is quick and easy to share your photos directly from the app.
The one problem with this app is that although it does offer unlimited uploads it will compress large images and so it may not be ideal for professional photographers who don’t want to compromise on quality, but if it is a problem for you can sign up for one of the premium versions from just $1.99 a month.
Best Features: Unlimited storage space, frees up phone space, editing and filter options, crate movies and collages from your photographs, affordable premium plans.
You may not think of Facebook as a photo sharing app and it’s true that the social media giant is better known for its messaging, news and status options, but Facebook is also one of the best photo sharing platforms around. You have unlimited uploads, almost every other photo sharing site will link to Facebook, it is easy and straight forward to use, you can upload both videos and photos, you can tag friends and locations in your images, and the privacy options are very advanced and easily customized.
The one problem with Facebook as a photo sharing app is that it doesn’t offer the same photo editing options and filters that other platforms have, but most devices will have photo editing options in the photo app itself so it’s not an absolute necessity. The best thing about Facebook is that chances are most of your friends already have it and searching for you know is very easy.
Best Features: Popular app, easy to use, unlimited uploads, advanced privacy options, easy to tag.
10. iCloud Photo Library
Apple’s iCloud photo library makes storing and organizing your images easier than ever before. Apple users with iCloud can easily view and edit their images from multiple devices thanks to iClouds easy integration system, any new photos that you take will be automatically added to your iCloud provided you have the space and any changes you make to your photos will be saved automatically and can be accessed from any of your apple devices.
iCloud also allows you to create a shared photo library so you can invite friends and family to view your images, and the whole process is very easy to set up and the once you have it it is very easy to use. The free iCloud plan gives you 5 GB of storage space and anything more will have to be paid for on one if the premium plans, but as the starter plan is just $0.99 a month and actually offers a lot more extra storage space GB) it’s not the end of the world.
Best Features: Easy to use, integrates with multiple devices, any edits will be saved on all devices, cheap premium options.
This brings us to the end of our top 10 alternatives to Fljckr. Do you have a favorite from our list or know of a great photo app we forgot to mention? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!