Five alternatives to Instagram for journalists

byNicole Martinelli
Apr 10, 2012 in Social Media

With the announcement of Instagram's US$1 billion acquisition by Facebook, many are wondering whether that stream of newsworthy photos will dry up.

Journalists have been using photo-sharing app Instagram to find images or document breaking news events around the world--from bloggers in a police truck in Russia to Japan's earthquake.

Instagram was great for news photos because--until recently--it tapped only iPhone users who were fanatics about taking nice pics, properly tagging them, and you could search for pics online without having the app downloaded to your phone.

Keeping those criteria in mind, here are IJNet's picks for alternative sources:

  • PicPlz This iPhone and Android photo sharing app's content is searchable online by city - ranging from Valencia, Spain to Yamagata, Japan - or keyword.

  • Hipstamatic Instagram's kissing cousin in terms of look and feel. Searching the pics without downloading the iPhone app is limited, though you can check out the Tumblr, user-tagged Flickr stream and celebrity and newsy pics featured on the website.

  • PicYou The iPhone snobs fleeing Instagram when it released an Android version are said to have found a new home in this Apple-only photo sharing app. You can search by hashtag or subject matter online or browse the "popular" uploads. Just keep in mind that many self-portrait loving shutterbugs drawn to this app are too young to care about SFW content.

  • Streamzoo This Android or iPhone app, which bills itself as a "photo social game," has a relatively small user base, but the online search engine works well. Whether you're looking for pics from Syria or Easter eggs in the past week, you'll find them via hashtags or users. It offers Instagram-esque filters and border styles for your photos, too.

  • Flickr The obvious go-to for finding photos related to news events, the challenge is finding pics that are properly tagged and that are CC-licensed pics so you can re-use them. Filter your search for best results - by license, or explore the most interesting pics in the last 7 days.

Instagram users: What alternative will you use--or will you stick with Instagram?

Top photo: popular pics from Streamzoo. Middle photo: the results of a search for "Syria" on Streamzoo.