How to let other people add photos to your shared Photo Streams

How to let other people add photos to your shared Photo Streams with iOS 7

Prior to iOS 7 you could share a Photo Stream with friends and family but they could only comment on photos and view them. It left a lot of people not wanting to use Photo Stream due to the lack of full functionality and usefulness. Luckily, iOS 7 has changed that and now allows you to let other people contribute photos too.

Here's how:

  1. Launch the Photos app from the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Under the Shared tab, tap on the Shared Photo Stream you'd like to let others add photos to or create a new shared Photo Stream if you don't currently have any.
  3. Once inside that stream, tap on People along the bottom of the screen.
  4. Make sure the option for Subscribers Can Post in turned to On.

That's all there is to it. Anyone you invite to that Photo Stream now has the ability to add photos to it. This is great for family members especially when on vacation or for photos of children. Just keep in mind that all users will need to be running iOS 7 or later to add photos to someone else's shared Photo Stream.

Let us know what you think of Photo Stream now that you can actually collaborate on photos more efficiently with iOS 7.

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to let other people add photos to your shared Photo Streams

31 Comments

You don't want to do this, this is a big issue since the beginning of Photostream functionality.

Allow this and somebody can upload 1000 photos to your photo stream and you will be out of space in your phone, the photos actually will download to your device after you open that photo stream, I've tried last year with my family, and is still the same now, it will eat all space on iPad, iPhone and then you cannot install any app or take more photos until you turn off photo stream.

Of course storage space is an issue, as with any time you share content. It doesn't mean people "don't want to do this" - it's a feature a huge percentage of our readers have been asking for. Personally, I think Photo Stream is rather useless without it.

Photo Stream is useless as it is, we have cloud storage, all photos should be stored on iCloud and download on demand, just have the thumbnails cached or a lower quality photo just stored on the phone, Web Albums app, Adobe Revel, Picture Life, Loom, and more do this, they will free your device and photos are just downloaded as needed, I've been using Web Albums app and Picasa for years with all my family around the world and works great, I just wish iCloud photos was a little better at this.

The point of my previous message is that if you agree to share an album with 10 friends and then those 10 users add 100 photos each to that shared album, you will en up with a big mess and no storage in your iPhone, regular people don't have a clue about this and they are the ones that will share millions of photos then you have a nightmare waiting to happen, all grandmas and grandpas of the world with the "your storage is full" legend will panic and then the whole experience will be ruined.

Apple should provide their own photo service, people take photos with iPhones more than other regular camera and device in the world, billions of photos per day, this little collaboration thing is good for just share a couple of photos about your kids with your wife but then at the end of the day you need to sit down in your Mac and open your favorite photo storage service (flickr, picasa, etc), create a new album and upload those photos to a new album, you can do this too from the different apps in the app store but it is redundant and a double-task that should be avoided, I'm paying Apple the same amount of money for a couple of GB per year than what I'm paying Google for 100GB of Picasa storage, I would rather cancel my Google account and keep everything under the Apple services but as now that's not possible.

I think your scenario is a little unrealistic. I've got several streams shared "with grandmas and grandpas" since they're photos of my niece. None of them upload 100 photos at a time. I get photos here and there.

And if I have a friend that ever uploaded that many, i'd just boot them from the photo stream or unsubscribe.

I also disagree about using web apps, I want my photos on me. Not all of them, but certain ones. And I don't want to rely on an internet connection for those specific photos and videos. Neither do millions of other people.

I see your points but your needs and my needs may be different. As will everyone else's.

Not unrealistic at all, just share an album from a trip to Disney World, let's say 350 photos that you took in 10 days, share that with a family member on a 16GB phone, it will eat over 1GB of that device, and that is just one album, what happen if your family member have a friend that went to the mountains for a 5 day trip and is sharing another 300 photos with your family member, now she/he will have 2GB less in the iPhone, add more family members sharing each other and then you can imagine the outcome.

Photos take up storage space. Is that your point? I get it. So does every app you download. Or song you purchase.

No one is forcing your hand to use shared photo streams. Telling others how to use it that may find it useful is why this article is here. I get lots of emails about it. The issue you're complaining of however is not something I've gotten emails about. It's also not something I have experienced personally and I have quite a few shared streams. So yes I think you're exaggerating the issue.

I don't think you get it, because nobody emailed you about this issue does not mean that Photo Stream is perfect, my previous comment about the 16GB iPhone scenario actually happened in my family, and they've stopped using shared streams for that same reason, I've pointed you to a flaw on Photo Stream that can potentially lead to a headache for several users but you are calling me unrealistic, I love Apple an I have more Apple devices in my house that I can afford, I'm 40+ and I do get in line at 3am for iDevices releases but I'm not blinded by the light.

Speaking of not getting it.... just because you don't use something, or like it, doesn't mean others can't find it useful, or viable. To each their own.

oh oh the imoreans on the attack, I'm just pointing a flaw on Apple's Photostream service for that particular situation that's all.

Oh my. And we are saying it's useful to other people. I get your point. You don't use photo stream for valid reasons that aren't problems all other people have. Ok point made. It doesn't make this how to any less valid or helpful to some.

Calm down and continue not using photo stream. What exactly are you looking for? Your first sentence was "no you don't want to do this" - as in it's not beneficial to anyone apparently.

This is exactly my point, thank you. I'm not "blinded by the light". There are a lot of things about iOS I don't like or think could be better. This is a how to. Just because one person doesn't like it, doesn't mean someone else won't find it useful.

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Well, updating to a 5S, all photos did not transfer. They are in iCloud, and are on my iPad. Unless I am missing something, still won't sync. I have a third party app, but was seeing if they could transfer via iCloud. Not sure if I want someone to be able to share pictures. I would like to view them first, and accept, or not.

Sent from the iMore App

I like it. It's good for me and my wife. When either one of is are with our kids we can post photos so each other can see it and comment on them. It's nothing huge but just goes along well with airdrop and no need to text photos anymore.

Sent from the iMore App

Ally any reason you know of why Apple will now let you upload videos to shared photstreams but still won't auto upload your videos to your personal photostream like they do pictures?

Sent from the iMore App

I like Shared Photostream and this post is useful for those who want to get going with it. However, I have the following issue with Shared photo stream in iPhoto on my iMac.

On a Mac with the latest version of iPhoto, I don't see all the photos from all subscribers of a shared photostream, but rather only the photos that I added myself to the photostream.
I have this issue as the owner of two different Shared photostreams. Normal subscribers have the same issue.

I found that this is common to other users: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5379105?start=0&tstart=0

What makes the thing quite ridiculous is that I see all the photos from all the following devices:
Windows (with the iCloud control panel applet installed)
iPhone
iPad
AppleTV

I think it could use up space, but also think it could be very useful esp.between friends and family.

It would be ideal if a participant in a photostream could decide how many photos to keep. That would solve most of the complaints.

However, back on topic... The ability to have others contribute is an important new feature but apple only partially got this right. They need to add the ability to control contributors on a individual level or groups (if set up in contacts). Both my wife and I use iPhones and we both want to share photos of our kids with family and friends but don't want others to have that ability.

Come on Apple - these are both obvious requirements and should be extremely easy to implements!

Wonderfully helpful article. This particular need is exactly what I wanted. Don't let people get under your skin who don't understand the concept of "opinion". Thank you again!

Good conversation going on here, but please allow me to ask a question. How do I invite people to subscribe?

Great article. Quick question: did you use a program to create those screenshots with call out balloons? Is so, what was it. That looked really good!

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