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Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

On My Radar: Instagram, Piictu, And Hashtags In Photo Communities

I recently caved and bought a white iPhone 4. My friend Corvida convinced me to give up on my broken Droid (the touchscreen failed long ago) and embrace 2011. My first paid app (99 cents) was camera+, a photo editing app that has many of the same features as Photoshop, great filters, sharing via Facebook and Twitter, and it integrates right into your camera roll.

I am already addicted to several free apps, but not surprisingly two of my favorites are photo sharing communities: Instagram and Piictu.

Friday Night Yum #margarita
Instagram photo from last night

Instagram, the app with the cool filters that has a fan in Snoop Dogg and is being used by businesses of all sizes to promote their products and services, has been around longer than Piictu.
photo via CSS Lounge Flickr

Similar to it’s more established competition, Piictu allows users to follow (subscribe) to topics created by the community. It’s not a hashtag in the way that Instagram operates; users post a topic and people add to the thread.

In this first iteration, Piictu has very limited features. It doesn’t offer filter options the way that Instagram does and it’s default home page has three tabs called “following,” “popular,” and “latest.” This is really lame if you’re someone who likes to explore.

Instagram also doesn’t offer a search bar, but there is a way around that; beyond the cool filters, the big win that Instagram definitely has over Piictu is that if a photo has more than one hashtag on it, you can view more photos by clicking those hasthags.

It’s so easy and addictive to follow Instagram feeds of specific kinds of photos through hashtags. Below are some photos I’ve taken to add to their respective thread. Try to guess what they are called!


This week's share from Corbin Hill Farm Road modified CSA

La Dolce Vita at Film Forum

Piictu unfortunately won’t let you search for specific keywords and you can’t search by hashtag. You’re really limited to those three “following,” “popular,” and “latest” categories so if you want to view a topic that’s really obscure and not ranking in those categories, it probably means it doesn’t exist. 🙂

Right now I prefer Instagram over Piictu because not only can you find more photos, there are more social integrations. I can send a photo from Instagram to Twitter, Facebook, via email, and my Flickr at the same time. Often there are photos that I want to archive in my Flickr, so I like the different sharing options. Piictu only lets you send your photos to Facebook or Twitter – no Flickr.

BLT at 7A
Delicious-looking (and edited) photo of BLT that I archived in Flickr via Instagram

Since I now have 16G of space on this new phone, I have plenty of room to play with my three photo apps (all I feel like using for now). And even though it’s not as feature-friendly as it’s predecessor, Piictu has proven to be a good time suck when I’m waiting for friends in random places like parks or at cafes. I can’t link to those Piictu topics from here since you need the app to participate but a few that I of my recent favorites are called “anything red,” “girls faces,” and “lighters.”

What are some of your favorite photo apps? Are there any new ones that you are having fun using? Share in the comments 😛

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