How To Do Instagram Marketing Without Instagram

Last week, photo-sharing service Instagram dropped a bomb on Twitter with its announcement that Twitter will no longer be able to properly display Instagram photos. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed the move, adding that the company will eventually disallow Instagram embedding on the Twitter website completely.

According to the New York Times, Instagram users will still be able to create a tweet when they upload a picture, but the image will no longer load on the Twitter platform. Instead, viewers will be directed to the Instagram website.

That’s bad news for the businesses and marketers who use  Twitter and Instagram, as this added step is likely to deter many customers from engaging with brands’ photos. So what now?

One answer is to explore other photo-sharing services to market your business with. Here are our top five picks.

1.       EyeEm

This application gets glowing reviews from both Android and iPhone users, with many  rating EyeEm more highly than Instagram. EyeEm offers 14 real-time filters and intuitively suggests relevant tags based on your location. These location tags are important for EyeEm’s “photo missions” feature, which asks users to go out and take photos correlated to a targeted theme. These missions could prove valuable for brands looking to get in on conversation marketing, as missions can be sponsored.

  • Price: Free
  • Mobile capabilities: iPhone, Android, and WinPhone
  • Social sharing: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare

2.       Hipstamatic

Touted as Instagram’s closest and most popular competitor, Hipstamatic offers easy integration and hundreds of different photo effects. For marketers worried about losing the attention of Instagram’s 100 million users, it even lets you upload Hipstamatic pictures to Instagram. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

  • Price: $1.99
  • Mobile capabilities: iPhone only
  • Social sharing: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Tumblr

3.       PicYou

PicYou is very similar to Instagram in terms of the look, feel, and various filters offered. Launched in 2011, this app specifically focuses on providing an Instagram-like experience for brands and businesses. PicYou also offers an easy web interface for marketers who prefer to upload pictures via computer rather than from a phone.  Key stats:

  • Price: Free
  • Mobile capabilities: iPhone only
  • Social sharing: Facebook and Twitter

4.       Snapseed

Voted best mobile photo app of 2012 by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), Snapseed was acquired by Google in September. Originally iPhone and iPad-only and costing $4.99, Snapseed is now free of charge and has an Android version too. Google also has integrated Snapseed with Google+, offering businesses extra reach via this rapidly growing social network.

  • Price: Free
  • Mobile capabilities: iPhone and Android
  • Social sharing: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

5.       Twitter’s photo-sharing app

This week, AllTwitter reported rumors that Twitter will offer photo filters by the end of this year, and Twitter released photo filters for its official Android and iOS apps. There are now eight filters similar to Instagram’s, developed by Aviary, a third-party vendor which also supplies Flickr’s online photo editing. You know what they say—if you can’t beat them, join them

  • Price: Free
  • Mobile capabilities: iPhone and Android
  • Social Sharing: Twitter

 Want more of the year’s biggest social media marketing stories? Click here for our roundup!

Image via: philippe.girolami (Creative Commons)



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