Hipstamatic relaunches as an “anti-Instagram” alternative exclusively for iPhone users

Hipstamatic, one of the oldest “retro” mobile photo apps, is back with a new concept. It was Instagram’s original rival, which “lost” the battle at the time, but never disappeared from the App Store. Hipstamatic has morphed over time into Hipstamatic X, and now the old app is being replaced by a new one that aims to be an “anti-Instagram”, without algorithms, ads or “influencers”.

Hipstamatic will limit the number of possible followers

The promise from the developers behind the new Hipstamatic is that it will be a social network without the elements that have made Instagram such a success, but also an app that some are trying to get rid of. So to keep influencers in check, each Hipstamatic account can follow a maximum of 99 other accounts. This way, smaller, tighter communities can be made, and no one content creator can “grow” too much.

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Then, each user can have a maximum of 9 “close friends” to whom they can send private photos. The main feed is not algorithmic but 100% chronological, and ads are not part of the Hipstamatic offering. Neither are other types of content. There are no videos and never will be, and clones of features like Stories or Reels are not and will not be implemented. Basically, whatever Instagram currently does, Hipstamatic is trying to do completely backwards.

The appeal of the app is the filters, which aren’t just simple color-changing elements, but can significantly change the way a photo looks. That’s because using advanced algorithms and 3D depth maps for each photo, Hipstamatic’s filters simulate various retro cameras from the last hundred years. So photos taken with the app will have their own identity. But images can also be sent to other social networks, such as Twitter.

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Some features will be available only on subscription

In the absence of ads, certain features such as exclusive filters and other items will be accessible on a subscription basis. $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year is the fee for access to premium filters, extra editing features and the ability to choose your name on the social network. The subscription also adds extra features in the company’s other apps, such as Hipstamatic Classic and IncrediBooth.

The creators say they care about the privacy zone and don’t need to know who their users are or track their activity on the network. So they don’t ask for much personal data, as they don’t need to sell ads.

Interestingly, the app is built on top of Apple CloudKit, hence some capacity limitations on the tracker list. However, this is also the reason why Hipstamatic will never be released on Android. The creators of the app are discounting availability on phones other than Apple’s.

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