EyeEm Photo App Snaps At Instagram’s Heels In iTunes Free App Charts

EyeEm, the Berlin based social photo and filters app, has been snapping at the heels of photo giant Instagram in the U.S. iOS app charts this week. A week ago they were No. 242 in the photo and video charts, but at one point this week they were No. 2 behind YouTube. Yesterday they held the No. 20 spot in the free app chart overall, ahead of Instagram at No. 22.

The movement was picked up by social photography blogger Dirk Singer after he checked Appannie.com. It will take a lot to challenge Instagram, but such hyper growth indicates that users are hunting around for alternatives to the photo app.

EyeEm appears to have achieved this through pure word of mouth, and no doubt the Instagram ToS backlash has had an affect as well. Competing app Tadaa also recently claimed to have had a lift from the Instagram ToS debacle.

EyeEm took the No. 6 spot in the photo/video category in the U.S. app charts on Dec. 20. The furore around Instagram’s change in Terms of Service happened three days before. However, as German tech news site Netzwertig reported, the app sunk to 232 on Jan 12. But on 13 Jan EyeEm leapt to No. 9, eventually getting to No. 2 behind YouTube.

Co-founder Florian Meissner told me they’d seen a burst of interest springing organically from “some high school in Texas” and spreading across the U.S. He said he’d even seen new users starting to post screen shots of the EyeEm app actually on Instagram and Twitter. “We’re currently seeing sign ups a day in six figures” he said. EyeEm released a statement recently saying they were committed to users owning their own photos forever.

The startup also doubled their Twitter followers over the past week from 30,000 to 63,000.

“Our game plan has not changed: building the best and most beautiful photo community in the world that becomes profitable,” said Meissner.

Meanwhile some of EyeEm’s very dedicated core users – many of whom are photography aficionados – have become perturbed at the influx of teenagers posting ‘selfies’. I guess that’s what happens when you go mainstream.