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Now that the news of Facebook buying up Instagram has made its way around the Internet, you may be looking for an alternative to the uber-popular photo sharing app. With all of Facebook’s privacy issues, some mobile photographers may shy away from using an app owned by the social network.

We’ve rounded up five alternatives to Instagram that allow you to photograph, filter, and share your favorite things. Most of them give you more control over the privacy of your photos and all them allow you create an account independent of your Facebook account, giving you more control.


True to its name, this iOS and Android app offers several photo filters for your camera and a social network to share your pics. What makes Hipster unique is that it creates postcards out of your pictures with special borders and text.


Pixlr-o-matic is for photo-filter maniacs. The app, available on Android and iOS, offers a plethora of filters, lighting effects, and borders for your photos. Each effect is more fine-tuned than Instagram’s filters. Pixlr-o-matic is missing a social network however, but you can share you pictures to Facebook.


Lightbox gives you more freedom with the camera on your phone, letting you choose installed camera apps that have their own photo features. Once you take a picture, you can add one of a dozen photo filters and share pictures to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare. Photos can also be uploaded directly to Lightbox’s cloud, so you can view them on a browser. The app also gives you more privacy settings than other photo sharing apps. Available for Android only.


This app was many Android users’ answers before Instagram hit the Google Play store. The app offers multiple photo filters and a decently large community of people sharing pictures. Beyond photo filters, the app lets you put meme and text overlays on your photos and eliminate blemishes and red eyes, using photo editing tools from Aviary. PicPlz also features instant DropBox uploads. Available for iOS and Android.

Retro Camera

Instead of applying retro filters after the fact, play around with older cameras with Retro Camera. The app, available for the iPhone and Android offers five vintage cameras, including a Pinhole Camera and a faux Polaroid, the Xolaroid 2000. The app creates small postcards that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and via email, and you can upload the full pictures to a social network through the Gallery app on Android, or the Camera Roll on an iPhone.

Check out the gallery for screenshots of each app.

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Do you have a favorite photo filter and sharing app not listed here? Leave it the comments below.

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