If you're feeling less comfortable sharing photos to Facebook, here's why you should try Apple's solution instead

Milan Ilic Photographer/Shutterstock
  • Facebook has been dealing with more data scandals and internal controversies this year, which makes me feel less comfortable sharing photos to the social network.
  • Instead, I’ve been increasingly sharing photos with friends and family using Apple’s iCloud service.
  • iCloud is private and secure, and is capable of accomplishing the same end result as sharing photos with friends over Facebook.

You just got back from vacation, or an outing with coworkers, or even just a really delicious dinner.

You probably amassed a ton of photos on your smartphone. You might even want to share those photos with friends and family.

Lots of people use Facebook or Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, to share their photos. But after the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, the hack in October that affected 30 million users, the recent reports of turmoil within the company, and the latest news of how Facebook has been quietly sharing your personal data with tech companies for years, I personally feel less comfortable sharing my photos, which I consider very personal data, to those sites.

Instead of Facebook or Instagram, I’ve been increasingly sharing my photos with friends and family through iCloud, Apple’s built-in cloud service that works across Apple devices, but also the web (in case you don’t own an Apple device).

You should consider giving it a try yourself.

The case for iCloud

One of the other reasons I prefer iCloud is because it’s private and secure – I get to choose everyone who sees the photos, and I know Apple isn’t using my photos in other ways, like scanning them for additional descriptive data to better target advertisements.

Apple clearly cares about user privacy and security: It has an entire webpage dedicated to both of those things, just so customers can understand what Apple is (and isn’t) doing with their data. Apple makes it clear that it doesn’t sell your photos or personal data to third-parties, and that all personal data, including login and transaction data, is fully encrypted.

So for convenience and security reasons, I prefer iCloud.

I also like it because, unlike Facebook, I don’t feel like I’m vying for the Likes and attention of friends and family that may not necessarily care about seeing my pictures. With iCloud, I’m sharing photos with specific people because I know they will enjoy my photos.

iCloud is surprisingly robust, too. Even if your potential recipients don’t have Apple devices, they can visit iCloud.com and view and comment on the photos there. It’s very similar to Facebook, just without the massive built-in network.

If you’re feeling leery about Facebook, I highly recommend giving iCloud Photo Sharing a try. It’s simple, secure, and gives you more control over who can see your photos. It also comes down to trust, and Facebook has suffered one too many dings this year to make me feel totally comfortable posting there.

How to share a photo album through iCloud

Sharing photos through iCloud is easy.

Take any Apple device you have that’s connected to iCloud and your Apple ID, open your Photos app, select a handful of photos, and press the share button in the bottom-right corner – the little box with an arrow sticking out the top of it.

One of the first options you should see has an icon of Apple’s Photos app, but it’s called “Shared Albums.” Click that to share those photos you selected – you can create a new album for those photos, or select a previous album you already made. You can add comments, or just click “Post.” That’s it! You made a shared photo album on iCloud.

Read more: We compared Google Drive with Apple’s iCloud and Dropbox to find the best cloud storage solution – and the winner is clear

The best part of iCloud is how you can choose who views your photos, and how others can contribute their own photos to your album.

To let others see your photos or add their own, visit your Shared Album and you should see a toggle at the bottom with two options: “People” and “Photos.” Click the “People” toggle, and a slew of new options will pop up: You can invite people to the album (you only need their email address or phone number) and choose a handful of other settings, like letting subscribers post their own photos and videos to your album, or letting your album exist on a public website on iCloud.com.

That’s all there is to it. All of these processes happen within your Photos app, which makes it hard to mess up.

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