Could iOS 6 Shared Streams Be an Alternative Instagram?

My shared stream -- at time of writing.Here is something that I found quite interesting when I actually sat back and thought about it. Instagram for iOS and Android is extremely popular. The service, if you didn’t already know, allows users to take a square picture, add a filter to the picture, and then send the picture out to their social networks. Apple has now launched shared photo streams with the next iteration of its mobile software: iOS 6. Is it just me who sees the shared photo stream as being a “better” Instagram? I know that better is relative, but many people don’t like Instagram because of the square pictures and the filters. So hear (well, read) me out.

Picture Size/Shape

Instagram gives you one single size and shape: a square. The shared photo stream of iOS, on the other hand, gives you the choice to share whatever size and shape you please. You can share a panorama, rectangle, or square, and that would be your choice as the photographer. Perhaps you missed capturing your cat being cute because Instagram’s square format cut out a major portion of the shot. Please don’t get me wrong; I love Instagram. I just think that iOS 6 shared photo streams could be a great alternative when you need more than one choice for image formatting.

Filters

Part of Instagram’s charm, in my opinion, is being able to add filters that modify and enhance the picture you’ve just taken. However, there are many of you who think that the filters are absolutely horrible and you refuse to use Instagram as a result. Whilst it’s true that you don’t need to add a filter to your Instagram image, you do feel compelled to add one. The shared photo stream allows you to share just the picture without the feeling of “Oh, it’s added a filter! Let’s keep it.” Sure, you can still add filters with iPhoto for iPhone, but this option isn’t as in your face about it. This seems like a win/win in my book for people who like the features of both, but that’s just me.

Sharing

Instagram gives you the opportunity to spam your Twitter feed or your Facebook timeline with pictures of what you’re eating or the finger that you managed to accidentally chop a bit off of. I would say that the shared photo stream puts you in better control of how you publicize your stream. You could push out notifications to your Twitter feed or Facebook timeline once every day, or have it update as part of your links in your profile. The only drawback that I can see is that Instagram takes you to the picture directly and shared photo streams don’t, from what I can see. I’d think that all Apple would have to do is add a way to “like” a photo and a way to comment and it has an Instagram competitor for iOS.

I hope you lovely ladies and gents can see where I’m coming from with this and can agree with me — or at least agree to differ. I certainly think that it’s an interesting idea and I will be testing it out over the coming days. Here’s where you can see my shared stream, and I’ll also post it on my profile, too.

What are your thoughts? Would you use this to replace Instagram? Would you use it as an alternative to Instagram? Would you use both? Tell me in the comments section below.

Article Written by

John “Scotsman” McKinlay is a 25-year-old autistic living in Glasgow, Scotland. He has been an online presence since 1998, but has only recently found that his voice and writing skills could bring him into the world of blogging and podcasting -- with a bit of YouTube on the side. He joined the ranks of LockerGnome back in March of 2012 and has been warmly received both by the LockerGnome staff and by you lovely ladies and gentlemen of the LockerGnome audience.

  • Joe Vargas

    Hi John. I won’t lie, I thought about this myself when I started playing with shared Photo Streams in my iPhone. However, that thought came to a screeching halt when I realized that shared Photo Streams are only between iOS users and Macs with iPhoto. I can’t share the photos to friends and family who use Android and Windows Phone via share Photo Streams. So, yes, I’ll continue use both Instagram and shared Photo Streams. My sister and I live 350 miles apart. Her and I like to share photos of concerts we go to, vacations we take and even landmarks we see. We are both iPhone users and you can bet that we’ll be using shared Photo Streams from now on.

    • Naterz

      Wrong. In fact, you don’t even need an iPhone, Mac, or iPad to create Shared Photo Streams. You can use the Windows iCloud Control Panel which adds Photo Stream functionality to Windows Explorer.
      Anyone with an email address can then recieve a link to your Private or Public Photo Streams. Even iCloud users who no longer have iDevices can still log into the site and go to your Shared Photo Stream in the Browser and participate. Users without iCloud accounts can still access them, but they must be public.
      You’re completely wrong about it, and simply didn’t know how to use it.
      I have no iOS devices or Macs and still use Shared Photo Streams via the iCloud Panel functionality on Windows 7 to share photos. It’s the most efficient way when most of your friends have iPhones (Push Notifications, etc.).

  • http://twitter.com/mjh483 Jun Hyeon

    I definitely like how it works. It is just a great way to share photos between iOS users.