It's hard to imagine anything topping Instagram's 70 million photos per day, but if there was one that could, photo sharing app Shots could be a contender. Created to provide a positive place for teens to share selfies, Shots combines familiar features of other social media apps. It might not have the same market share, but there are still some things that it does better than Instagram.
Launched in 2013 as Shots of Me, Shots received some serious attention from the get-go. Justin Bieber invested early on and promoted the app to his vast audience of Beliebers. Six months in, the app had 1 million members, 75 percent of whom were young women between the ages of 13 and 24, according to Yahoo!. It's safe to say that many were drawn in by Bieber, but the app's positive message is another appealing factor to join.
John Shahidi, who founded the app with his brother Sam, wanted to create a place where young people could share photos without worrying about bullies. Shahidi has hoped that his app would guide social media into a more positive role in society. Shots' membership has grown and diversified since 2013, but that positive message hasn't changed. In maintaining it, Shots offers some different features than social networks like Instagram and Twitter — and it might even be more innovative.
Like Instagram, Shots lets you share a photo or video with your friends. Also like Instagram, you can like other people's posts and follow your favorite celebrities. But unlike Instagram, you can't comment on others' posts and you can't see how many followers people have. Both of these features — or lack thereof — reinforce the Shahidi brothers' vision for a bully-free zone. Think of it this way: The haters can't say mean things about your photo and they can't see how many more followers they have than you. It's a refreshingly non-competitive take on social media.
The other differences between Shots and Instagram could make it more user-friendly for some audiences. In Shots, you can create a photo collage while taking pictures. There's no need to download a different collage app and upload two separate pictures to create the single image. Also, Shots does not use the 1-to-1 ratio and lets you post full-size images. No more having to crop out your friend to focus on your good side. These features, combined with Shots' built-in editing tools, seem to almost make up for the fact that you can't upload photos — you have to take them directly in the app, á la Snapchat.
It's no Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, but Shots is social media with a positive message. Its positivity and user-friendly tools make it worth at least, well, a shot.