In that sense, it puts what’s valuable to content creators front and center. Whereas Instagram and its echo chamber of hashtags and follow-back spam can feel noisy and crowded, VSCO Grid is designed to strip out excess, allowing the images to speak for themselves. “When you walk into a museum, you wouldn’t see someone writing next to a piece of art or adding stickers next to it,” says Flory. “Our goal is to evoke a connection, but not in a way that’s like, ‘I love this photo. Awesome! Great! LOL. Art.’”
My rule of thumb for iPhoneography is VSCO first, Instagram second. I like to add a slight filter to my photos using the VSCO app and then use Instagram for distribution. This is a bit comparable to my process for Twitter, using Tumblr first as my platform for synthesizing ideas before I tweet them out.
In many ways, Instagram used to be VSCO, a network of passionate photographers sharing little art pieces as status updates. Naturally, Instagram grew to become the mobile photo version of Twitter, fast, minimalist, and easy to use.
Although VSCO is acting like Instagram in creating a grid, it’s still very different. You can share other peoples’ photos but you can’t like or comment on them. Their focus is on the captivating images rather than social currency which tends to become dominated by celebrities and brand anyway. By adhering to reduced social functionality, VSCO can stay true to photography as the art form that it is and let the pictures speak for themselves.