Hipstamatic app relaunches as a social network, but only for iOS
Remember that cool app from years ago that was, like, the hippest thing on your iPhone 3Gs? Yes, that’s right! It was Hipstamatic, and I, among many, spent hours playing around with different looks. back then, it was a rival to apps like Snapseed and even Instagram. But then, it sort of just went away.
But now it’s back, stronger than ever, and is relaunching this week as a social media network. And not just any social network clone either, this is the one that possibly all of us photographers have been waiting for since the demise of Instagram.
The new platform will be “ad-free, algorithm-free, and community-supported through a membership program.” It will also have a chronological feed. Interestingly, unlike most social networks, users will be able to follow a maximum of 99 other people. The company says that this is to ensure a “personalized and chronological feed that’s all about discovering and engaging with amazing photos.”
“We’re excited to bring Hipstamatic back,” said Lucas Allen Buick, co-founder of Hipstamatic. “Our new social network is designed to be a celebration of photography and community, and we’re confident that our iOS users will love the authentic, creative, and supportive experience that we’re offering.”
According to the press release, the app features Hipstamatic’s iconic camera filters and lenses. This allows users to add “unique and stunning visual effects” to every shot. The platform also offers a variety of editing tools and features, making it easy to enhance and perfect each photo.
In the early days of smartphones, the camera was a novel feature, and taking pictures was a fun way to capture moments and share them with friends. But as the industry evolved, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram turned photography into a commodity, reducing it to likes, followers, and engagement metrics.
– Lucas Allen Buick, co-founder of Hipstamatic
Ten years on, it might feel a little late to the party, but actually, this should be viewed as a strength. It means that Hipstamatic hasn’t fallen prey to the usual ‘race to the bottom’ algorithm-based apps that we’ve all grown so tired of. In the beginning, Hipstamatic celebrated the simplicity and joy of having a camera in your pocket at all times. This app is looking to reclaim that feeling.
Of course, there’s a downside, however. At the relaunch, the platform is only available to iOS users, ie. people with Apple phones. That’s kind of a shame for the world’s Android mobile users. But perhaps there will be plans in the future to open this up, who knows?
Maybe we will all start to enjoy taking photos again without worrying about likes and follows. Stranger things can happen!
Hipstamatic’s social network will be exclusively available for download on iOS devices starting March 22, 2023, and can be accessed through the App Store. To join the community, users can sign up for a membership program through the app.
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe