The Instagram social sharing photo app has soared in popularity.Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg this week announced that Instagram now has 100 million members — double the reported number of members it did when Facebook bought the company for $1 billion last spring. But if you're interested in something a bit more cutting-edge, take a look at EyeEm.
The EyeEm app has very similar features to Instagram — both offer photo-taking and cool filters, available for iPhone and Android. But EyeEm also has four big features that Instagram doesn't.
First, EyeEm is smarter. As you use the app, it tracks what you like and then creates a personalized photo feed that changes along with your interests. EyeEm calls it the Discover Feed, which was introduced earlier this month when EyeEm launched version 3.0.
Second, EyeEm is a network that's not necessarily based on friends, as Instagram is, but rather on shared interests. EyeEm suggests a topic when you post a photo. Topics appear in a purple box, so you can easily see all the photos within a theme. For instance, "Streetphotography" contains 19,667 photos, contributed by 1,575 users.
Topics also correspond to albums, which you can see in your main newsfeed. When we tried the app, "Night Lights," "I hate waiting" and "Stars" were trending.
Third, EyeEm offers better location features. While Instagram launched its map view last month, it still requires a search for a location to find photos that were taken at a particular place. EyeEm has "Around Me," which lets you see photos that were taken wherever you happen to be, using your device's GPS coordinates.
Finally, the most visible difference between EyeEm and Instagram is that EyeEm does not constrain photos to Instagram's square format. That's good news for people who like to take panoramic pictures — something we're sure to be seeing more of later this month when the iPhone 5 becomes available, with its built-in panoramic shooting feature. Like Instagram, EyeEm can pull in any photo from your camera roll.
If Instagram's getting too mainstream for you, give future-cool EyeEm a shot. It's available for free in the App Store and Google Play.