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Instagram, what are we gonna do with you? First you sell out to the largest social network on earth, and now you want to sell us out to advertisers.

Not cool, bro. Not even remotely cool.

Fortunately for us, we’re onto your capitalistic machinations, and we’ve got a few tricks of our own.

Here, dear reader, are a few Instagram alternatives that are open-source enough for you to be certain your photos, locations, and web browsing data will never be used against you.



Anypic is a sweet little app from Parse, a Y Combinator-incubated company we’ve written about quite a bit in the past. You can log in with Facebook; it lets you capture and share images with your friends from inside a slick, Instagram-like user interface.

Best of all, you can download the source code and create your own version (aka “fork”) of the Anypic code, if you’re so inclined. Parse built the app as proof-of-concept for its product, a mobile platform, so it’s not at all interested in making money from end users based on their private data.

Fork it: GitHub repo



VintageJS is a desktop-based tool for adding retro filters to your photos. It uses some nifty HTML5 canvas tricks to make the whole thing work. You can adjust the vignetting, add blur effects, switch up the color curves, and more, all with simple one-click buttons. VintageJS also has its own built-in sharing tools for Facebook and Twitter.

Fork it: GitHub repo



OpenPhoto’s iPhone app brings you photo-syncing, easy browsing and scouring, and filters courtesy of Aviary, the photo-app developer’s toolkit. OpenPhoto itself is all about taking control of your images and albums no matter where they’re stored, so you can get used to great organization and storage options, too.

Here’s a bit more about how that works:

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/41719417 w=560&h=315]

The OpenPhoto Android app is coming soon, the project’s leaders say.

Fork it: GitHub repo



The self-proclaimed open-source Instagram is Backspaces, an iPhone app that brings image-based storytelling — and yes, yes, those hipsterrific photo filters you so desperately love — into your sticky hands. It pairs a Tumblr-like series of callout boxes with your images to create cute micro-pages about a given topic, event, or story in your life. Example: The Backspaces team’s story about building the app.

Fork it: GitHub repo



Finally, from former Twitpic engineer Ryan LeFevre, we have CamanJS. Perhaps due to LeFevre’s experience in the word of mobile and browser-based photo-sharing, the quality of the editing and preset filters for Caman JS are truly elegant, both subtle and stunning. Check out this interactive example to see it in action. The toolset is available as a web app, Filters.io, which can connect to a plethora of accounts, including Instagram, Facebook, Flick, and even Dropbox. You can also upload photos or edit them directly from a URL.

Or you can use this filter set as the Lomo+ Chrome plugin right now; it lets you right-click on any image to instantly filter it as you browse around the Innertubes. Hooray!

Here’s a demo:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aCcYbn3SLg&w=853&h=480]

Fork it: GitHub repo

Top image courtesy of holbox, Shutterstock

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