100ASA is coming for Instagram. As Facebook-owned Instagram continues its shift toward video, as we wrote about in July, 100ASA believes there’s room for fresh competition and that photographers will soon be on the hunt for a photographer-focused alternative to the social media giant that is Instagram. If there’s a gap, 100ASA wants to fill it.

Martech Series writes, ‘100ASA, an online community with over 10,000 photographers worldwide, has launched an app with the promise to compete directly with Instagram. Through it, photographers can showcase their work to anyone with a phone on their hands in an environment exclusively dedicated to photography lovers.’

100ASA’s homepage. Click to enlarge.

100ASA’s founder and Enterprise Solution Architect, Massimiliano Peluso, said, ‘100ASA is going to compete with Instagram because this social media platform has lost its identity. Instagram started as a photo-sharing platform, and it’s now much more about advertising. You can upload anything on Instagram. On the other hand, 100ASA is 100% for those with a strong passion for photography. And we only publish images approved by our curation process.’ 100ASA’s approach is designed to curate quality over quantity. Peluso continues, ‘On 100ASA, only the best images are included in our galleries. 100ASA comes as an alternative for photographers at any stage of their careers to promote their work. And the public is sure to be seeing only high-quality images.’

The current 100ASA Elite Gallery when filtered for ‘Nature’ images. There are many different filters available on 100ASA. Click to enlarge.

On the 100ASA app, every image is subject to a curation process. If it makes it through successfully, an image appears in one of the four available galleries: Opening, Upcoming, Prime and Elite. Each gallery includes criteria for approval and inclusion. The Opening gallery is where images that don’t earn enough popularity reside, allowing users to receive comments and feedback still, even if their photos weren’t popular enough with curators.

Who decides if an image is of high enough quality? 100ASA says that professional photographers and the community itself decide which images end up being featured. While the precise method at play is somewhat opaque, 100ASA tracks each user’s reputation, which is meant to reflect how much the community trusts you. There are also measures in place to prevent fake accounts and spam. As your reputation increases, you earn access to additional features.

There are different User Roles on 100ASA. You move up the roles by earning reputation and having photos published. Click to enlarge.

If you want feedback and tools to grow as a photographer, 100ASA promises this, too. The site writes, ‘Everyone has an inner photographer waiting to be discovered. But you need the right tools and advice to achieve the next level. On 100ASA, you will receive feedback and learn from professional photographers.’

Participating in the 100ASA community through curating and commenting earns you’ tokens.’ You can use these tokens to do things like upload a photo for curation. During curation, images are judged on different characteristics, including composition, technique, creativity, content and lighting.

There many ways to earn Reputation on 100ASA. Click to enlarge.

While you can join for free, some features are locked behind a paywall. There are Pro and Pro Plus membership tiers for $50 and $80 a year, respectively. The paid tiers give users access to detailed analytics about their images, plus additional Albums, galleries, priority listing and higher print sales commissions. What’s up with print sales commissions? Pro members get 60% of the print sale net percentage, whereas free members get 40%. Paid users also get discounts on photo upload tokens, which can be purchased, and a reputation booster. If you’re familiar with free-to-play video games, some of these features sound a lot like ‘pay-to-win’ items for photographers. You can learn more about the benefits of different plans on the 100ASA website.

When 100ASA says it wants to be an Instagram alternative, it’s clear that the two communities differ greatly. Whereas Instagram has massive reach and is, by and large, an open community where essentially anyone can upload (almost) anything, 100ASA is designed to promote high-quality photography. It’s also worth pointing out that Instagram is free, although, of course, for those trying to market themselves, there are plenty of ways to spend money to extend your reach on Instagram. While 100ASA has a free tier, the paid subscription options include perks some users may consider a must-have. For example, 100ASA wants to extend beyond the internet through real-world pop-up exhibitions, for which only paid members’ work will be considered.

100ASA is built around the idea of community curation. Click to enlarge.

If you’re interested in joining a curated photography community or just browsing curated images captured by other photographers, head on over to 100ASA. The new 100ASA app is currently available only for Android phones via the Google Play Store, but an iOS app is in development.



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