Want a pro critique of your photos? This IG alternative offers it

screenshot of 100ASA login page

The photo-sharing social network 100ASA has positioned itself as a presumably better alternative to Instagram with professional social feedback.

100ASA has been designed as a “real” IG alternative that offers a team of curators and critics who will take a hard look at user submissions and rate them for their strengths and weaknesses.

The website’s 100ASA Professional Critique service lets you submit your photos so that said professional curators will give them a set of “positive comments and suggestions for improvement”.

According to the social media platform, it wants to avoid the negative connotations of the term “critique” and guide them away from its common interpretation of finding fault with something.

Instead, the platform’s human (as opposed to AI) curators will deconstruct photos positively for suggestions of improvements to color, composition, sharpness, storytelling and lighting among other things.

100ASA elaborates on this, “As personal photo coaches, we give constructive feedback to improve your photography regardless of skill level. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, a picture-taker, or a professional photographer,”

It also states, “We encourage your growth as a photographer by acting as a resource that communicates the “how and why” so you can achieve a higher level of refinement in your photographic skills. We believe that anyone can become a master with the right inspiration and feedback.”

The evaluations are presented to submitting members in the form of a neatly organized set of graphs for different quality categories and a number that shows how many members curated a given image.

You can see some examples of this for yourself right on the social platform’s website, here.

In case you’re asking the obvious question for this, yes, the service costs money, but there’s a free option too. 100ASA offers two paid categories of membership with different options.

The first of these costs $4.99 per month and offers in-depth photo analysis with photographic advice, suggestions on improvements and cross-category ratings on the quality of lighting, composition and etc for up to 7 submissions per week. It also offers a chat option with a curator.

The second, “Pro Plus” plan with the social platform costs $7.99 and includes everything in the “Pro” plan but with 13 submissions per week and other perks.

The company’s free plan lets you submit up to 3 photos per week for professional critique and offers a few other basic features.

100asa membership plans screenshot

The different details, features and services for all of these plans are further explained on the company’s website.

In addition to the above plans, 100ASA also offers two other paid options that go as follows:

The first of these costs $9.90 per month and offers in-depth photo analysis with photographic advice, suggestions on improvements and cross-category ratings on the quality of lighting, composition and etc.

The second, “Advanced” plan for the social platform costs $14.90 and includes a chat option with a human critic along with a downloadable PDF of critique findings.

How these two latter paid options square with the platform’s other membership tiers isn’t clearly explained on their website.

100ASA isn’t the only alternative to Instagram that has launched more recently. As Meta keeps making all kinds of blunders with how it tries to extract “engagement” via ads, reels and other content that saturates photographer feeds, many photography-oriented users have gotten tired of the social network.

Instagram has pulled back slightly from some of its less popular interface “features” and so-called engagement policies.

But the company seems to continue with a tendency towards what one knowledgeable social media analyst has dubbed a process of “enshittification”.  (Genuinely worth reading for a good theory on why so many social media platforms eventually go bad.)

By contrast (at least for now, until it gets big enough to care less), 100ASA claims that its platform is much more dedicated to genuinely helping photographers showcase their best work and refine it further.

100asa screenshot

It also argues that its platform is less cluttered with “mediocre photos”, making it easier for a given member to stand out with their work.

Another interesting feature of 100ASA is that it claims to respect copyright for its members. The platform states, “Unlike other photography platforms, we don’t claim ownership of your work. What you create will always be yours.”

100ASA also recently explained to the website PetaPixel, “100ASA is a unique photography platform that emphasizes quality over quantity and class over mass,”

It further added,

“Our innovative photo curation system guarantees that only the best images are displayed, while our tokens system encourages a more thoughtful and intentional approach to image uploads. With 100ASA, you can showcase your best work to a community of fellow photographers and clients who appreciate and value high-quality imagery.”

How well this works in practice and how long it lasts if it does really work well is something that we’ll have to see over time.

For now, if you’re interested in a new social medium for presenting your work, trial membership is relatively risk-free with its free option and otherwise modestly-priced plans.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

1 Comment

  1. Cindy M Brown on March 4, 2023 at 9:29 am

    Interesting concept.
    We’ll see how quickly folks flock to the site.

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