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Smartphone photography is a thing and there are courses online and offline about it. One of the secrets to successful smartphone photography, apart from taking good pictures, of course, is having the right photo editing app.

Although there are many apps for editing images, VSCO has slowly become a favorite among smartphone photographers.

The app was first launched in 2011 and was known as VSCO Cam. Not surprisingly, as it is a camera within an app. Users can use the app to snap pictures and edit them for stunning effects.

Interestingly, it functions a bit like Instagram in that it has a thriving community of photographers. Also, the app lets you create a network and share your images with other users.

The difference is that follower engagement is not a core feature of the app. You can’t like or comment on another user’s photo, although you can share and favorite it.

So, is VSCO a photo editing app or a social network? We think it’s a bit of both, but we’ll let you decide.

If you want to explore the app, scroll to the end of this article and click on the link to download the VSCO app.

Core features of the app

  • Over 200 preset filters: Get access to 200+ filters on the app. No matter how you feel, there’s bound to be something that expresses your mood.
  • Video editing tools: You are not just limited to photo editing, as the app also lets you edit videos. That is an advanced feature that is available for all VSCO members.
  • Photo editing tools: VSCO has powerful photo-editing tools that can take your pictures to the next level. Express your creativity with advanced editing tools on the app.
  • Build your community: Follow creators who inspire you and share your work with other photographers on the app.
  • Messaging: The app lets users send messages in-app.
  • Studio: This is where you import your images before you begin editing. It functions like a private space with access to several editing tools.
  • Journal: This feature is only available to iOS devices and lets users create and share entries like blog posts.

How VSCO works

In its bare form, VSCO is an image-sharing app. It lets users snap images, and edit and share them on the app or other social media platforms.

You can also use photos in your phone’s image gallery by uploading them to the app.

The feed is a great way to find other users and follow their content.

Find out how to get the app

You can get VSCO by downloading it from your phone’s app marketplace. Visit Google Play Store for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS devices.

You can also use the download link at the end of this article to get the app.

Although VSCO is a free app, the best filters and features can only be unlocked by signing up for a paid subscription. There is a 7-day trial in which you can test it out.


Alternatives to the VSCO app include some free and paid photo editing apps. If you do not want to pay for an annual subscription, you could consider any of the free apps.

You might not get the same range and functionality as VSCO, but some of these apps have advanced editing tools and might be worth exploring.

  • Instagram: a free media-sharing app that combines social media and photo editing
  • Snapseed: This is another free photo editing app. It does not incorporate social sharing
  • Darkroom: uses AI to provide high-end photo and video editing for iOS devices. The features are free to use, but you need to take out a paid membership to export your images.

If you are serious about smartphone photography and don’t mind paying for the subscription, then you should go ahead and get the VSCO app.



  • It is easy to use
  • It has 200+ preset filters
  • VSCO incorporates social sharing
  • The free plan offers very limited features


You are going to be redirected to the external website to download the app.

Frequently asked questions

Is VSCO free?

The app is free to download and use, but you will need to pay for a subscription to get access to all filters and editing tools. There is a 7-day free trial, and you can use that to test out the subscripion.

Is VSCO a social media platform?

VSCO is an image-sharing app that combines photo and video editing with elements of social. You can follow other users and share their content.

Can I see who liked my pictures?

Your followers cannot like your pictures. However, you will be notified once someone shares or favorites your content. VSCO is different from other social media platforms in that respect.


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