Why I’m Dropping Instagram as a Primary Photo Sharing Platform

InstagramInstagram is one of the greatest photo sharing services out there. After spending 1 billion dollars on it earlier this year, it would appear that Mark Zuckerberg agrees. While most of my picture taking recently has been done on one mobile device or another, I’ve decided to part ways with Instagram as my primary photo sharing service.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m boarding the bandwagon of leapers due to the privacy policy changes this week, I most certainly am not. In fact, Instagram more than clarified the point that the privacy issues brought up by popular Geek and Sundry host Wil Wheaton this week were simply misunderstandings brought on by vague wording in the policy.

My reasons are simpler than that, and I hope a few of you might consider my reasons as thinking points and nothing more. There are plenty of reasons to stick with Instagram. It just isn’t my first choice for the time being.

Instagram is Owned by Facebook — Favoritism is Inevitable

When Facebook bought out Instagram this year, I was immediately taken aback. Every time a multi-platform, third-party social tool is bought out by a social network, it becomes very uncooperative with its parent’s competition. TweetDeck, though it works all right with Facebook today, all but dropped support for the world’s largest social network after being bought out by Twitter. It wasn’t until recent major updates that my favorite Facebook features were brought back to the platform.

Instagram has already showed signs of tension with Twitter. The two services have been going through a rough patch over the past month, and I don’t expect either service is going to budge on its expectations any time soon. The days of having full Instagram integration with Twitter are potentially behind us. Twitter’s new photo sharing app is most certainly going to become its favorite new tool. That’s how business works sometimes, and it sucks for the end user.

I Already Invest Time in a Photo Sharing Service

Flickr has been my favorite go-to photo sharing and hosting service for years. It’s one of the few services I’ll consistently shell out yearly fees for, and I’m quite satisfied. Though I do wish the folks at Yahoo! would be a little more mobile friendly (Android is still a second-rate citizen in the Yahoo! universe), I have been very happy with the site’s browser features.

A lot of my photos are taken with a DSLR, and I usually manage uploads through iPhoto. Flickr is a perfect fit in this space, and it more than meets my needs. 500px is also quickly becoming one of my favorite photography sites. It’s where I intend to keep my very best photos with the intent to sell prints to anyone who might want them.

Instagram Has a Long Way to Go for Non-Mobile Users

Instagram is primarily a mobile service, and for heavy desktop users like me, it’s just not my first choice. For the folks in my life who still haven’t picked up a smartphone (like my mother), the idea of having to either send them Instagram links or check Instagram updates on Facebook is still a little rough. If I want to share an album with someone, I’d much rather send them a Flickr link.

Instagram isn’t intended for desktop use. It’s intended to be a mobile social experience. For that purpose, it works brilliantly. Again, it’s just not something I’m entirely ready to use as a primary platform.

Yes, I’ll still post the occasional photo on it. It’s not like Instagram is dead to me or anything. It just doesn’t sit on the top of my list of services right now. Perhaps with a little work and a broader direction of support, it could surprise us all.

These are my reasons for making the switch. What are yours — for staying or going? Do you prefer Instagram to other photo sharing services online? Let us know why in the comments section below.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.