Naming Instagram competitors is challenging, even for seasoned social media managers. The behemoth fought off Snapchat and Periscope in 2016; both apps are losing marketshare. Social media is always changing, but some networks have such large user bases that they seem like institutions. Could any platform ever replace Instagram? With more than 100 million users (78 million in the US alone), Instagram competitors have an uphill battle to gain market share.

On the other hand, social media platforms live and die on the whims of young people. Japanese schoolgirls invented texting, and Facebook rocketed to 100 million by initially only allowing those with an .edu address. Can young people undo social platforms just as fast as they build them? Will Instagram’s competitors overtake it?

Instagram Competitors: Fellow Kids

According to market research data from 2016, Generation Z is branching out to new social platforms. Teenagers still use Instagram and Instagram messengers to stay in touch with friends, but they’re branching out to new platforms as well.


This messaging platform allows users to text for free, with no limits. As more teens move to the platform, Instagram messaging might lose its appeal. Kik also allows in-app photo taking and sharing, for group messages that centre around snapshots and dank memes.

Why share videos on Instagram when you can build a fanbase on For the approximate 1 in 3 middle schoolers who view themselves as the next Beyonce, is the perfect social network. The platform allows users to assemble not just followers, but dedicated fans. As of December 2016, 70 million people had registered as users. That’s a lot of Beyonce covers.

Instagram Competitors: Start-Ups

Snapchat and Periscope didn’t exist 5 years ago. Instagram’s next big competitor could come out of nowhere, too.


You may not have heard of this photo sharing app out of China, but we will all learn how to pronounce it soon (koo-ay-shoo? kwa-i-shoo? Send help). The app just secured a 350 million injection of funding from Tencent, after an initial round that drew investments from Sequoia and Baidu. You will want to translate this page, as the app looks poised to reach North American users soon.


Is it fair to call Path a startup? Path was founded in 2010 and has Promising a more “personal” web experience, Path is one of the most-followed photo sharing startups on AngelList. Path has raised more than $55 million, but has struggled this year to gain market share. Largely due to…


Not to be confused with caramilla, which complimentary slang for someone cute with tan skin. Camarilla allows messaging and photo sharing with just 15 people. The app takes Instagram’s private account feature a step further — you can’t publish publicly, or have a long follower list. The network allows for intimate, conversational sharing, which just might be the future of social media marketing.

Could these competitors unseat Instagram as young people’s go-to selfie app? Ask a 13 year old.