VSCO vs Instagram

Instagram Logo

Instagram Logo

Amy Iheme, Contributing Writer

Social media is no stranger to this generation of teens. New social media apps may be released while the others fade away, but the popular 10-year-old app Instagram and its relative the 8-year-old app VSCO have made a name for themselves as photo and video apps. 

Though VSCO and Instagram share many similarities, users of each app tend to prefer one over the other– even over other popular social media apps as well.

Charting at #2 on the App Store’s Top Charts for Photo and Video, Instagram  currently holds a 4.8 rating on the App Store for ages 12+. Users can choose to edit their pictures with the premade filters and add a captivating caption before sharing their photo with their followers. Instagram also has a feature called Instastories, which has similar mechanics to another popular social media platform, Snapchat.       


The recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award App, VSCO, currently sits at #12 on the App Store’s Top Charts for Photo and Video Apps. VSCO focuses more on purely editing and sharing photos. The intricate editing studio that comes with the app makes it easier for users to edit their photos to their desire. The major difference between Instagram and VSCO is that there are no numbers on VSCO to track the interaction of the users’ pictures. Users of the app can favorite, repost and share pictures between people that they follow but the activity, except the sharing of posts, can only be seen by the original publisher.

According to “Why Is Instagram Removing Likes? It’s Probably Not To Help Your Mental Health,” Instagram, Inc. made an attempt in November of 2019 to remove the display of the number of likes on a photo as an attempt to “help people’s well-being and health” due to a study conducted in 2017 concluding that Instagram was the worst app for your mental health as it was associated with depression and anxiety. 

Honestly? I don’t think that this update did much for my mental health. In fact, I didn’t get the update at all. Neither did a majority of Instagram users. The beta testing that Instagram put out failed as a majority of users today are still able to see the amount of likes they and others get with each new post.  

It’s not that I cry when my picture gets less than my usual couple hundred likes, it’s that I want other people to see the interaction of my photos– which is something that VSCO lacks. VSCO is pretty useless unless you have a large following on the app. Like most people, I put the link to my VSCO account in my Instagram bio; especially when I toggle between my account being private and public. 

One of the only effective changes Instagram, Inc. has made was to remove the Following Tab back in October of 2019 where users can see the photos their followers liked and the comments they made on posts. According to “Instagram’s Following tab is going away this week,” “the tab was removed for the sake of simplicity, and to cut down on a feature that most people didn’t know existed.” 

I find that reason hard to believe though. Many relationships have been destroyed by that tab. One could see what pictures your followers liked and commented on and what accounts they recently followed. I think that removing the Activity Tab was more of a privacy thing since a lot of people refrained from following certain accounts or commenting on people’s photos. 

Instagram is used more as an app for sharing while VSCO is used more for editing pictures and creating portfolios of pictures, called Journals. Since the VSCO Girl craze last summer, the fad increased the popularity of the VSCO app making it more favorable to the public over Instagram.

Unlike Instagram, VSCO does not allow you to make your profile private. Even if you block a person from your profile they are still able to view your posts and profile. Blocking a person just prevents them from interacting with your posts or you. 

At the end of the day, I would choose Instagram’s multi-faceted app over VSCO any day. Although one of the positives of VSCO’s app is that it relieves the pressure of posting a perfect picture to get the desired outcome, it doesn’t have a comment section–that’s where the real feedback comes from. Not only do I prefer Instagram over VSCO because of the ability to comment, it’s an easier app to use and a cool way to make new friends. I’ve met a ton of cool people online (sorry Dad) and it wouldn’t be the same if I had met them through VSCO.

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