Mobile Mondays: Plate’s photo sharing and collaborative app

Plates is an app that lets you curate your photos, discover other photographers, and collaborate on similar topics. We’re pedaling this alternative to Instagram, Vero, Facebook and more.

One of the many photos I uploaded to Plates. Night photo with light painting, Nevada desert.

Plates wants to offer a photographic alternative to other social media. It does this in part by not having any intrusive ads, algorithms, or videos. Instagram has turned into a mall full of reels, and Facebook seems to be on the right track as well.

And Plates achieves this. The homepage shows what I decided to do, and only that.

What are plates?

When I first started using the app, I had suspected that “plates” might be a fun reference to the glass plates that preceded film in the early days of photography. Maybe it still is. But it turns out that Plates is actually a collection of photos, a sort of photo album that comes with various privacy, management, and collaboration options.

Suggestions for using plates

While creating photo albums on Facebook, you can not only collaborate, but also subscribe to certain plates. And given the architecture of Plates, it’s something you’d keep adding photos to rather than just move on to something else. With the way Plates is designed, it also feels more organized and intuitive.

With Plates, you can choose between your own, those you’ve joined, or those you’re subscribed to. You can also create a new plate. Below are the ones I have already created.

Creating a new plate

Clicking on the “+” sign next to “Create New Plate” will create a new menu. It first asks you to choose a photo to serve as the header photo and then offers various options. The app is extremely easy to use and optimized in such a way that it doesn’t require many steps no matter what you do.

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I subscribed to another plate from other people. The navigation for this is easy and the feed gives me exactly what I stated. Home Home of the Plates

The homepage offers a chronologically ordered feed that is personalized, maybe something like Vero offers. Where Plates differs from Vero, and as far as Instagram and other apps go, is that when you follow a person you tend to see their content individually, regardless of what they’re posting. Also, there is no room for cooperation. With Plates, each photo belongs to a Plate or themed album that provides a larger context.

What I like about it is that users can subscribe to a specific record so they can focus even more on their interests.

But I also like the ability to organize the photos with different themes. This keeps everything organized and themed.

Instagram possesses, to a degree, that specifically curated feel when we choose to follow someone with carefully curated content. Being able to follow specific hashtags also helps. However, that carefully curated quality has been erased by the barrage of reels, stories, ads, and algorithms that determine what might please us. For some reason, Instagram shows me a lot of exercise videos now. I hope this is not an indication of my fitness.

Plates allows you to add other photographers to Plates as co-curators. This could be great if you have several people who have similar interests or have taken a trip together.

While I like this feature, I have to admit that I didn’t do this with Plates. And there’s a reason for that.

Plates doesn’t have many user notification page.

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With many alternatives to the big social media juggernauts, not many people use most of the alternative apps. It’s often more fun with more people.

At least up to a point.

It seems that when an app becomes extremely popular, it seems like it gets hijacked from its original intention of making connections. The app’s developers may choose to monetize it through the sale of information, advertising, and promotions. The people using it start obsessing over popularity, spreading or trolling their intentions or misinformation.

At the moment, Plates has a relatively small number of users. I don’t know anyone currently using Plates.

search function. When I search for “Night” not only titles but also descriptions come up in Plates. The search function is extremely efficient and fast.

When I search for night photography, I often see the same creators. My experience is extremely pleasant but limited. Of course, that’s not due to the app’s design, it’s just because most people either put up with Meta’s social media juggernauts or have fled to numerous other apps. Or maybe escaping most of all.


The navigation of the app is straightforward.

When I click on a photo in a plate, I can scroll up or down to see the other photos on the plate.

Comments on a specific photo. I can reply, but not directly to the comment made.

A curious aspect is that if someone comments on one of my photos, I can comment below, but there is no “reply” function.

Night photo with light painting, Old Car City USA in Georgia. quality of the photos

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The photos look good. They don’t seem to have been garbled by the upload process, unlike Facebook. As you would expect from a phone app, portrait orientation photos display best. However, the app is very good at automatically displaying photos in landscape mode to the sides with minimal space between photos. In other words, the app looks great.

last words

Plate is fun. What I like best so far is the organizational element of Plates and how I can subscribe to them, the ease of use and the quality of the photos. And I have to say, I really enjoy not having reels, short videos, intrusive browsing history, or constant ads. No spam and no misinformation campaigns. I only wish there were more people who could share in this experience.

Plates is available on iOS and Android platforms.

I wrote an email with Sarthak Mishra, the founder of Plates, who has the following last words: “Social has come a long way since it became popular a few decades ago. It is not necessary that you are interested in everything a person you follow might post. Plates gives users the power to get a feed of posts that are exactly what they want.”