While Instagram is exceedingly popular with users in general, attracting more than half a billion daily active users, it also has its fair share of detractors.
Among photographers, there are complaints that Instagram has shifted away from sharing and showcasing images to focusing more on video, like Reels, and advertising. Instagram has arguably been moving steadily to become more of a TikTok competitor and less of a photo-sharing platform.
In contrast, Daylyy, which aims to surpass 50,000 active users by the end of the year, is focused on cultivating personal connections and sharing authentic images.
“Speaking with a lot of our users, we often hear there are a lot of apprehensions to post on Instagram; there’s fear of being judged, feeling like your life isn’t post-worthy,” says Daylyy’s co-founder and CEO Austin Anderson to TechCrunch. “None of that exists in the Daylyy community. Part of the Daylyy effect is realizing you can post whatever makes you happy, whenever — no one else’s opinion matters!”
Unlike Instagram, Daylyy users cannot pull images from a camera roll on their device to post — users on Daylyy must instead post images they capture in real-time within the app. However, in contrast to BeReal, Anderson says that Daylyy is not “gimmicky.”
“It’s a real-time social media app,” Anderson says of Daylyy. “There’s never going to be filters, and you’re not going to see any uploads. You also won’t see things like vanity metrics or numbers. And, most importantly, no algorithm.”
Having launched in 2022, Daylyy has not yet made massive inroads into the social media space. The company has recently added Brendan van der Vossen to the team, a former VSCO executive. Van der Vossen is Daylyy’s new head of growth.
“It is exciting to be working on social media in a positive way. Having a background growing alternative social media apps like VSCO, I am thrilled to be working on an app that brings social media into a new light for Gen Z,” van der Vossen explains in a statement. “I was struck by [Anderson’s] vision for what authentic social media could look like, and I love working with founders who have that big vision.”
TechCrunch explains that Daylyy’s long-term financial plans include introducing ads. However, the company argues that its approach to ads will be more authentic. Companies who want to showcase their products or services on Daylyy will play by the same rules as the app’s users, including real-time photos.
While some companies may not be keen to be held to that standard, others already capitalize on a sense of realness. TechCrunch’s Lauren Forristal mentions fashion brands like Aerie and Asos, two companies who have committed to not retouching their models. Anderson also cited the body care company Lush, which quit social media in 2021 amid concerns that social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook were dangerous.
One way that Daylyy hopes to cultivate a safer environment is by limiting how comments work. “Additionally, Daylyy doesn’t publicize your comments for others to see. Instead, you must directly message a mutual follower, encouraging a more personal connection with them,” TechCrunch explains. The app also doesn’t allow users to see how many people liked content, reducing the risk of someone feeling like their photos don’t live up to some artificial standard.
Given that Instagram is such a monolith in the photo-sharing space, even if the platform is more about other forms of content these days, many competitors have risen to the challenge of felling the behemoth.
Many of them have come and gone, although some unique and interesting players remain in the space, some of which have carved out a nice, healthy niche. For example, 100ASA offers professional feedback to photographers, Grainery is a great place for analog photographers, and Frames is a photo-sharing platform that also includes a ton of community tools and educational resources.
It remains to be seen what sort of mark Daylyy can make on the social media landscape. Still, one thing is for sure, companies are not going to let the Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok’s of the world run roughshod over everyone else, at least not without a fight.
Daylyy is available now for free on iOS, iPadOS, and Android.
Image credits: Daylyy