In a recent post, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri wrote that Instagram is no longer primarily a photo sharing app. For frequent Instagram users, this change of heart should come as no surprise. The app has been making a noticeable push to prioritize their ‘Reels’ videos format in an attempt to sway attention away from competitors like TikTok and YouTube.
This means photographers who haven’t embraced video will likely be feeling more of the cold shoulder from Instagram’s infamous algorithm. And while Instagram may be the most popular (former) photo sharing service, there are still plenty of other options out there for sharing your toy photography.
Here are five suggestions in no particular order:
Feel like shouting your content out into the void in 280 characters or less? Well then, Twitter may be just the place for you, especially after they recently made improvements to how the app handles images. Twitter accounts are free, and the service supports hashtags, pinned posts, lists direct messages and more. Finding other toy photographers to follow may take a bit of searching, but with more than 180 million users, you’re bound to find a lot of familiar names and images from your Instagram feed. While you’re there, be sure to follow us @ToyPhotoBlog.
Reddit is a network of communities based on interests, and there are many different groups where you can share your work. You’ll find groups, aka subreddits, for general toy photography to more specific niches, such as action figures, LEGO and everything in-between. Some of these groups are more traveled than others, but they all offer the opportunity to share your images and connect with likeminded individuals. Just make sure to read the posting rules, as they differ from group to group.
Accounts are free, though Reddit does offer plenty of ways to spend money via their virtual currency, known as coins. Coins can be used to award, encourage and support other Redditors, but are in no way required to participate.
Over the past few years I had taken a sabbatical from Facebook due to my feed being nothing but political grumblings. After cleaning up my friends list and joining some toy photography groups, I’m slowly starting to use the platform again.
Like Reddit, you can find tons of general and specific toy photography groups for sharing your shots. There are also groups focused on behind-the-scenes pics and diorama building. Some groups are private, and you’ll need to send a request to join, but that is done in most cases to filter out spam bots.
Facebook accounts are free, but I do believe they cost a bit of your soul. Then again, Facebook owns Instagram, so most of us are already paying that price.
Toy Photographers Facebook group
If you really want to see your photos shine, Flickr is the place. Flickr was doing photo-sharing six years before Instagram, and was once bustling with users and groups. Instagram may have stolen a lot of attention away from Flickr, but there is no question about which service treats your photos better.
If you want to show off your pics in much better resolution than what Instagram offers, both the Flickr app and desktop site will do you well. There are groups, hashtags and more, but you’ll need to sign up for a paid, Pro account to take advantage of everything. Free accounts currently limit the number of photos you can be upload.
Toy Photographers Flickr group
I put this one last because of course you are already part of the toyphotographers.com community on MeWe, right? RIGHT? All joking aside, if you’re looking for honest interactions, a laid back group, and an ad-free social media experience, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more inspiring and encouraging spot on the web than Toy Photographers’ very own MeWe group. Plenty of conversations, challenges, good times and more. Our MeWe group is more a collection of good friends having fun than anything else. All are welcome, MeWe accounts are free, so if you’re not already with us, come on by and say hi!
toyphotographers.com MeWe community
Do you use any of these services listed above? Have another Instagram-alternative that we missed? Sound off in the comments and let us know.
Thanks for this short overview, Alan. This is really helpful! You actually confirm my first impression that Instagram is not a great place for sharing photos. I also strongly agree that for anyone looking for the company of fellow toy photographers, you probably can’t beat MeWe (I say probably because I do not really know any alternatives). After reading this post, maybe I’ll try flickr one day.
Thinking about possibilites to let “your pictures shine” (I liked that!), I’d also recommend a personal homepage or a blog because even if you use a design that is not your own (like the designs that come with a WordPress account), you have a lot of control – and there are great templates really spotlighting photos. Throw in a little HTML – somebody once told me that HTML prgramming means usind copy + paste a lot, and he was right – throw in that and you have a great means for showcasing your work. Finding like-minded photographers might be a bit more difficult though, but sometimes it’s also good to have some peers who do not specialize in toy photography … or even photography at all.
Just my 2 cents…
Hey Tobias, thanks for chiming in.
Self-hosted blog is a great alternative as well. Like you said, you have full control and there are some great, photography themed free templates out there (as well as some really cool plugins you can use).
Prior to joining ToyPhotographers.com I used to have a personal blog for my photography. I think it has all been wiped from the web at this point though, sadly 🙂
Two cents well spent! Thanks
What timing! I was recently searching the internet for more platforms to share my work and low a behold this comes along. As I am not a fan of Facebook and Reddit, I may have to revisit again and take a crack at these platforms. Alan, thanks for the insight and information. Your efforts are greatly appreciated! Best.
I’m with you on Facebook, but after taking a hiatus from the platform, I came back, cleaned up my friends list and toxic accounts, and started participating more in a groups and it’s been a better experience. Glad this post found you at the right time! Good luck revisting the platforms again. Cheers!
I actually have to remember to use my Twitter account – been out of the habit for years. But I’ve been on Flickr for 14 years and have found it a great place to post pictures of all sorts. Some of the groups are very interactive others not so much just like anywhere else. If you are going to post a lot definitely go for the pro account. I know we are spoiled by always wanting what’s free, but on the other hand, the pro account gives you tons of space and an ad-free environment. Toy Photographers does have a group there too by the way. As for Facebook – I’ve used it since it went public lo these many years ago. I’ve got a lot of friends, relatives and some folks who just like my photos who follow me there with a growing number of toy folks making their presence felt. I find it worth the effort. And I love the MeWe group! Great place to be a toy photographer!
Hi Mary. I’ve been on Flickr for a long time as well, and in my opinion, there really is no comparison as to which service treats your photos better (Flickr vs Instagram). It’s so nice to see photos larger than the tiny space Instagram allows. You can see so much more detail, and just soak it all in.
I just need to remember to be more active on Flickr. Am I already following you? 🙂