After years of users asking for it, VSCO is finally getting a whole lot more serious about balancing being a space for photographers and a social platform. Today, they’re offering messaging options that are a fascinating departure from how messaging works on various other platforms. While this is surely a “better-late-than-never” kind of feature, it’s a nice addition for photographers who are sincerely seeking another place to call home since Instagram is a pretty awful place.
Here’s how the new VSCO messaging works:
- Paying members can send unlimited messages to everyone.
- Unpaid members can send unlimited messages to their followers. They can engage in conversations with three non-followers for free. But after that, they’ll need to pay.
There are also some new additions to VSCO Spaces, asset sharing, etc. I’m a former VSCO paying member, and I could never quite get my head around Spaces or why I’d use them. If you’ve got an entire team of people on there, it might be a nice way to collaborate. But I could still truly never understand them.
So what does all this mean? Well, for journalists like us that want to communicate with photographers, this is a cool way for us to get in touch with some folks. I’ve found tons of photographers on VSCO that I’ve ended up interviewing here on the Phoblographer. But for photographers, it’s another space to display your work and get it noticed. If you’re of the old school belief that social platforms aren’t about the ROI, then that’s all fine and good. But photographers are already having to manage a ton of platforms. Let’s go through some of them:
- Behance: a spot for photographers to collaborate with other artists and even possibly find work.
- Photo Vogue: A place for photographers to display their portfolios; specifically the creme de la creme of their work.
- Instagram: A sad place where your soul goes to die because you’re creating reels for an algorithm and not real, human art.
- Tik Tok: Ew. The same as Instagram.
- VSCO: A place to collaborate with other creatives. It’s also overall a place for you to show off your own creations and reach new people using VSCO’s curated hashtags.
See more in our post about the best communities for photographers.
If I’m looking at the photography space online right now, I feel that it’s fundamentally broken and that companies need to start trying harder to lure over brands and pair them with photographers to get them more work. But instead, companies that appeal to photographers and other creatives are all just doing the same thing.
What’s even crazier is that brands are trying to do work to market themselves on social media platforms while ignoring the importance of in-person marketing options that aren’t behind screens. Those are the ways that photography can really shine a whole lot more than video and social media.
I digress from VSCO on all this. But this is what I feel VSCO and other platforms need to do to become a place that photographers actually want to be on. Otherwise, they’re all turned off by just having to manage another app. It’s exhausting, and I hope that social media gets shifted to the side eventually by photographers in droves once they all wake up.
For that, I’m hoping that VSCO picks up their pace and becomes more of a place that photographers will want to flock to for various reasons. And I hope that it doesn’t get ruined. Check out everything on VSCO’s website.