Instagram is without a doubt one of the most popular and most visited social media platforms today, but many people are already wondering how long Instagram will last and if it will ever die out.
At this time, the photo and video sharing platform owned by Facebook certainly isn’t going anywhere, but its popularity may dwindle over the coming years in favor of new and trending applications and alternatives.
If you’re wondering what application would eventually dethrone and replace Instagram, check out our full list of the up-and-coming alternatives.
Tip: want to get rid of your Instagram account? Check out our guide here on how to delete Instagram, even if you don’t remember your password.
Just how big is Instagram?
Instagram is big, really big.
You might remember that the social media platform was bought by Facebook all the way back in 2012, for a whopping amount of one billion dollars. The company, led by Mark Zuckerberg, definitely did everything it could to grow Instagram into the massive social media player it is today – mostly due to the easy integration with Facebook.
While Facebook may not be the most ‘hip’ social media platform nowadays, the company has definitely made sure to diversify by investing in Instagram and Whatsapp. Because Instagram is backed by Facebook, it’s likely that it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Why Instagram has copied features from other apps
However, Instagram is competing with other applications and has always taken inspiration from popular features. The Snapchat Stories feature, for example, was quickly copied and added to Instagram as well. More recently, the whole idea of short-form video content on TikTok was taken over by Instagram and integrated into Instagram Reels. You can choose to post these reels publically, or only share them with your Instagram followers. Not every added feature has proven to be a success, however.
You might still remember Instagram TV as a direct attack on YouTube, but that never really hit the ground running and the IGTV symbol is now nowhere to be found in the main application.
Of course, the reason why Instagram tries to copy all of these features is that they would like to keep their users on their platform, preventing them from switching to their competitors. While some ‘inspired’ features have gotten more success than others, it’s likely that Instagram will maintain this pivoting strategy to try and keep up with new applications.
Nonetheless – there are some interesting cool apps out there, and some of them have massive growth potential. Let’s check out the most promising candidates to replace Instagram one day.
1) TikTok – Instagram’s biggest threat
There’s really no escaping the phenomenon that is TikTok. Whether you know the application because of the many controversial news posts or because you’ve decided to try out the app itself, TikTok has proven to be massively popular, especially for younger audiences.
TikTok focuses on short-form vertical video content up to three minutes in length, although this limit used to be shorter before. In many ways, TikTok can be seen as a spiritual successor to Vine, which was shut down a few years ago.
The difference here is that TikTok managed to captivate a huge audience. Back in October 2020, there were over 732 million active users per month on TikTok, and it’s estimated that this number will almost double by the end of 2021. Aside from TikTok, the Chinese version known as Douyin is also very popular in the Chinese republic. Of course, the app is in Chinese, but you can check out our guide to using the Douyin app in English.
Even though TikTok doesn’t exactly offer a feature to post regular pictures – something that Instagram used to be all about, there’s no denying that TikTok is stealing attention from Instagram on a massive scale. It does borrow some of Instagram’s issues, however, as a lot of users and experts agree that TikTok can make you insecure.
2) VSCO – The most similar app
In terms of features and functionality, VSCO is probably the application that has the best chance of replacing Instagram altogether. The platform considers itself to be a “creative channel”, and to be a place where “expression matters most“.
The app is definitely meant to share pictures and is already quite popular with hobby and professional photographers. You might have already heard about the social network with the viral term “VSCO girls” (pronounced ‘fizzco’), which refers to the many possible filters you can use on your uploaded photos.
The app actually started out as a camera and filter application, with the intent of posting those edited photos to Instagram. However, they’ve recently upgraded their app to include a social network aspect and to become a direct competitor to Instagram.
One of the most striking differences is that followers aren’t made public, which eliminates social proof and judging by others. The focus is purely on creating and sharing content, without any of the toxicity of large follower amounts.
3) 500px – For photographers
If you’re a creative person or a photographer, 500px is most definitely the hip and trending social network for you. The main difference on 500px is the fact that the app makes it incredibly easy for users to find other users, without being restricted to the classic following system. The app’s algorithm simply pushes your posts and pictures to other users in the network, which means that your pictures will definitely get seen whether you have a lot of followers or not.
Unlike many other apps and Instagram alternatives, 500px actually offers two different user tiers. The free version will suffice for most, but if you’d like to upload an unlimited amount of photos per month, you can consider getting a $0.99 monthly subscription.
If you’re not a photographer but a graphical artist, there’s actually a very similar platform that’s tailored to your work and audience: Behance.
4) Poparazzi – The new hip photo-sharing network where you only take pictures of your friends
In many aspects, it certainly looks like Poparazzi’s design and features are a carbon copy of Instagram – but there’s definitely a unique twist to it as well. Instead of you posting all your content, Poparazzi wants you to post content of your friends.
Additionally, there’s no built-in camera for selfies, which means that the point of the app is really to shoot pictures of your friends. Everyone gets their own profile, and you can see all the photos that were taken of you (and which you were tagged in, of course) on your personal profile page. All of this definitely makes sense when you take a look at the name of the app – they’re going for the idea that everyone can play paparazzi for their friends.
Currently, Poparazzi is only available on iOS, but it will most definitely also launch on Android if the app continues to gain more traction. It has already raised 20 million dollars in funding, so chances are that we haven’t seen the last of Poparazzi in the coming years.