picplz review: An alternative to Instagram

After the big news that Facebook acquired Instagram, many users rushed to delete their Instagram accounts because they were unhappy about the deal and don't trust Facebook with their photos. But where are these users to go? I set out on a hunt for a good alternative to Instagram for these users and found picplz.

Like Instagram, picplz is a social photo sharing app that includes several filters that can be applied to your photos. You can follow your friends from Facebook and Twitter, "like" photos, and leave comments.

One of the things I like about picplz is that you are not restricted to square crops. In fact, picplz includes a slew of editing tools, including cropping. Additionally, you can rotate, add memes, draw, adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and colors, add text, repair redeye and blemishes, whiten teeth, blur, sharpen and flip. There are 9 different filters to choose from, either with or without a frame. picplz displays them as 18 different filters though, instead of just have an option to trigger the frame on and off for each filter. This is annoying and gives you the false impression of having more filters to choose from than you do.

The Interesting tab in picplz is similar to Instagram's Popular tab and displays the photos as thumbnails. Tapping on an image will display a larger version of the photo with the caption above it. The font size of the caption is rather large, and with long captions, it's not very visually appealing. Underneath the photo, you'll see the buttons to "like" the photo and add it to a collection. If you keep scrolling, you can leave a comment at the end of the list of usernames have liked the photo. As you can imagine, sometimes this list can get rather long.

When you're ready to share your photo, in addition to the picplz network, you can share your photos to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous, Foursquare, and Dropbox and check-in to Foursquare.

Another thing I really like about picplz, is that when someone clicks on your link from a computer, the browser window that it opens in allows picplz users to "like" and leave comments on your photo without having to use the app.

The Good

  • Lots of editing tools
  • 9 filters
  • Can include location with photo uploads
  • Can create collections
  • My Network, Interesting, and Activity tabs
  • Check into Foursquare

The Bad

  • Captions have too large of font
  • List of "likes" has the potential of being very long and annoying to scroll through
  • Cannot select a photo from camera mode. You must instead navigate to your Camera Roll from the more tab. It's unintuitive.
  • Filters aren't clearly labeled unless selected

The bottom line

picplz is not Instagram. It's not as good as Instagram. But it has great potential as an Instagram alternative. In fact, it has some features about it that are better than Instagram. The UI needs a little work, but it's still a great app, and if you're an ex-Instagram user who is not happy with their deal with Facebook, you should give picplz a try.

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.