Here's How To Use Picplz, An Instagram Rival With $5 Million In Fresh Funding

Picplz screenshotClick here for our step-by-step guide to using Picplz →

There’s a battle brewing on smartphones for the best next-gen photo sharing app.The old guard like Facebook, Twitpic, and Flickr haven’t done anything interesting with mobile photography, but apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram have quickly become popular.

There’s another player that needs to be taken seriously: Picplz, which just raised $5 million in financing from Andreessen Horowitz, and is run by Dalton Caldwell, who previously founded Imeem.

  • Like Instagram, Picplz lets you take photos with its app, apply neat-looking filters, and share pictures with friends on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, etc.
  • And like Instagram, there’s a built-in social network on Picplz, which lets you browse other peoples’ photos, “like” them, comment, etc.
  • Unlike Instagram, Picplz is available for Google Android phones, and doesn’t force you to post only square photos.

In our brief testing, Picplz has a simple, clean interface, and generally works. But Instagram still feels more polished.

Here's what the Picplz icon looks like on an iPhone. Tap to launch it.

This is our first time using the app, so we'll create a new account.

Fill in the standard information: Name, desired login, password, etc.

Creating your account...

It automatically asks which social networks you'd like to tie Picplz into.

We choose Facebook first and fill in our account info. Logging in...

Picplz shows you what it's going to do with your Facebook, and lets you uncheck actions.

Now let's sign into Twitter so our photos tweet out.

Here's what it looks like when you approve Twitter.

All set.

Now we can log in.

We fill in our login and password...

This is where the app stopped working in our test. We had to exit the app, and force-quit it from the iPhone's home screen.

Nice pic! Now you can add effects and captions.

Tap the magic wand button to add a filter. Like Instagram, you can choose funky and retro-looking photo filters to make your pictures look cool. But unlike Instagram, you can't see a preview of the filters -- just browse them by name.

Tap on the location to add a caption and change the sharing settings.

We add a caption, and decide to keep this one off Facebook or Foursquare, but to tweet it out.

And now it's uploading (see status indicator at bottom).

Here's the tweet that got sent out automatically.

And if you click the picplz link in the tweet, here's what the photo looks like on the Picplz site. Note the map at the right.

Now, let's check out the built-in Picplz social network, by tapping the icon of the two heads. You can see people it recommends for you to follow, and other peoples' photos.

We tap on a photo and it gets larger.

Here's Boxee's Zach Klein playing with 2011 glasses, taken by his boss Avner Ronen.

Now, here's our profile page, accessed by tapping the middle icon, with just one person in it.

Here are notifications settings.

And lastly, your connections to other social networks.

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