Why VSCO Is BetterThan Instagram
Start writing a post

The VSCO Complex: Is It Better Than Instagram?

What makes this app so appealing?

The VSCO Complex: Is It Better Than Instagram?

Ever wondered why everyone's Instagram bio seems to have a link to "vsco.co"? One click and you'll see a spread of hundreds of photos of high-contrast, low-saturation, retro cityscapes, tons of pictures of friends and family layered with exposed brick store interiors and cute coffee shops - perfectly cropped and edited to the gods. So just what is this social media app and WHY is everyone drawn to it?

Founded in 2011, VSCO describes itself as a "photo company for creators, by creators". Much of the draw of VSCO is deeply rooted in its ability to give users the freedom to post or edit whatever they want with the expectation of receiving nothing in return. Likes and comments can be wonderful, but by posting to VSCO, the user expects very little to no attention. Users understand and accept that not every single person they know will see their VSCO posts. By copy and pasting a VSCO link into their Instagram bio, the user practically guarantees that the only people who will see these photos are people who WANT to. Instead of waiting days in between posts and stories, constantly hitting refresh to analyze a picture's likes-to-time ratio or hitting the right angles on that Boomerang selfie, you can upload ten pictures in two minutes and feel completely at ease.

In no time at all, VSCO has become what Instagram was built to do: provide a simple photo editing platform and allow users to showcase their life through an artistic, inspired collage of photos - whether they practice photography professionally or just want to connect with others. Through the years, the rising popularity of apps like FaceTune and increasing pressure to showcase one's life in the most photogenic, carefully-selected way possible, has resulted in fewer posts and more attention to one's own followers, bio, and showcasing life in the most beautiful, fun, exciting, and potentially unrealistic way possible. Instagram gives us the "highlight reel" of life complete with witty captions and exotic location tags.

The beauty of VSCO, on the other hand, lies in its simplicity. To edit as you please and press "upload" with no stress. To create a chronological journal-like assortment of photos that document your happiest moments. No one cares about their VSCO follow count or popularity. It's a blissful break from judgment, and the chance to upload what you find oddly beautiful and unique with no repercussions.

I've noticed that many people include screenshots of cute text messages, original poetry in pretty notebooks, childhood photos, etc. While this is evidence of the user showing off their personality and more intimate aspects of their lives in a positive light, I believe that there are two sides to this coin. Some use these kinds of VSCO posts as a discreet way of calling someone out or showing off a flirty text in a less in-your-face manner. Think of it as "sub-tweeting" for VSCO. This threatens the understated beauty and fun of the app - if we manage to keep it low-key, fun and harmless, other social media communities can definitely take some pointers from VSCO.

Are most VSCO photos carefully chosen and edited? Yes. But is there inherent fun in playing around with photos that won't automatically appear in your eighth-grade crush's feed? Big yes!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Stephanie Tango

The pandemic has been in our world for more than half of 2020 and people are still acting stupid. If anything, they're getting stupider. They think that the virus is gone. It's not. Stop going to frat parties. Stop trying to go places without a mask. I wish things were normal, too. They're not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Kai Parlett

In the summer of 2017, 20 type 1 diabetics completed a 10-week 4,000+ mile bike ride from New York to California. They biked against the advice of doctors, family, and friends. Many were skeptical that people with diabetes could complete such a physically challenging trip without putting themselves in danger due to their disease.

Keep Reading... Show less

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.


I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

We all love a good ol' sappy Christmas movie and this year, the Hallmark Channel is finally giving us what we want: diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Seasonal Depression Is Real And It Deserves Our Attention

Check in on your friends throughout the winter season, it can be brutal.


As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

September Is Suicide Awareness Month, But Mental H​ealth Is An Everyday Discussion

Mental illnesses deserve our attention 365 days a year.


September is Suicide Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness, further educate yourself, and remember the reality that mental illnesses present. Yet it's critical to understand that suicide awareness is not an annual Instagram hashtag to use and forget. Actively advocating for mental health resources, progress in education, and a broken stigma is an everyday ask — an activity that we can each participate in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments