PicYou (Free) by Flixya Entertainment, LLC is a social photography app that is similar to Instagram, but in a way, better.
Even though Instagram seems to be the default choice for photo sharing these days, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for newcomers. PicYou caught my attention due to the simple and minimal interface, as well as the filters. During my use, it provided a good alternative to Instagram.
To use PicYou, you will need to create an account or use your Facebook login. Once that’s done, you are able to use the app immediately.
The default view is the Feed. At the bottom of the screen, there will be a menubar with five tabs: Feed, Popular, Camera, Activity, and Profile.
The first thing you may want to do once you get the app is to check out the filters, so tap on the camera button. This will start up the camera, or you can import a photo from your Photo Library. If you snap a new photo (flash and front-facing accessible), the app is pretty fast at processing the image and will take you immediately to the filter screen. Images will be cropped into a square, with a resolution of 640x640.
There are several filters that can be found here, each with their own unique look. The filters seem like Instagram filters, but with one big difference: you can toggle the borders on or off with the button at the top. By default, the borders are on with each new image; if you toggle it off, the filters will have a slightly different look to them (a better look, in some cases).
Once you decide on a filter to apply (or leave it on Original), tap on the Next button and you can add a description to the photo, location, and tags. If you are so inclined, you can also share directly on Twitter or Facebook with one tap (after the initial log in process). After all of this is said and done, your photo will get uploaded to PicYou’s servers, and your photo will appear on your profile and in your Feed tab.
Of course, what is PicYou without people to follow and share with? You’ll probably want to find who of your friends or family is on the network, so you’ll want to head to the Profile tab and go to “Find Friends.” This allows you to search through your Twitter and Facebook friends to see who else is already on PicYou. My only complaint is that there seems to be no way to search for someone by name, and I hope that this can be added in the future.
When you find your friends, you can follow them to view their photos, which will appear in your Feed (along with your own). Like Instagram, you can “like” photos and comment on them.
The Profile tab also allows you to log in and out of your Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as edit your PicYou profile information.
The Popular tab is just that – you can view the popular photos on PicYou at the moment. Tap on them to view, like, or comment on them. If anyone follows you, likes or comments on your photo(s), this information will show up in your Activity tab. PicYou also has push notifications to alert you to these events.
While I like PicYou and have had no problems with the app itself, there is the problem of finding and getting people to follow you. So far, my feed is quiet, and I’m unsure about having to invite people to join yet another network.
However, the plus side to this app over Instagram is the fact that there is a web interface that you can use at PicYou.com, and you can even upload photos from there. Definitely a huge advantage over Instagram, at least until they allow users to upload from a device other than their iPhone.
If you don’t mind joining another photography social network, then definitely give PicYou a try. The filters themselves make it worth looking into anyway, though.
Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.