To be honest, do we need another photo sharing platform like VSCO? I was one of the first to download and try out the new app that appeared on iOS some years back and was astonished to find that their business model is based on filter presets, which you can buy as an in-app purchase.
Later, this same photo editing suit was launched on PC/OSX where you can use those same editing filters you purchased on your mobile on a desktop version.
So where have they gone now?
Rent a studio for free if you have no space to shoot. There is a penalty fee of US$250 for cancellations within 72 hours and there is no mention if you get to rent additional studio equipment for cheap if you lack certain accessories.
The new studio is located in New York and VSCO claims it will add more studio locations when they expand their reach. Not a bad idea really but it's kind of difficult to appeal to photographers when the free service is only for two hours. There is no way to extend this so you gotta shoot real quick.
The problem with this model is simple. Having a studio allows you to stage your own shots or passion project but it doesn't help if all you have with you is a mobile app and a smartphone.
There is also no requirement that you must be a VSCO user. All you need is to send a request and explain your passion project in an email. After that, they would get back to you to see if you qualify to use the space for free.
VSCO App Revitalized
VSCO has since introduced an Android app and although they have added a few more photo editing tricks on their mobile app, the chance of photographers having used these filters is pretty low since you don't fancy paying for them in the first place. This is probably why they feature artsy pictures edited using these filters on their discovery blog, which encourages you to buy these filters. None of the pictures are of particular newsworthy quality nor would it appeal to a broad based audience from Instagram.
While it never pushed itself as a social app since its business model is to sell more filter presets. You can still add photographers to follow and you don't need to shoot on a smartphone device as long as you use VSCO filters to enhance your pictures, that would suffice.
Now having reviewed the editing functions on the Android app, I would dare say it is a safe bet. you have a variety of filters which are modeled after analog film and other digital presets where you buy and apply on your pictures. It's not rocket science. And would I switch from Snapseed to VSCO for all my editing needs. Probably not. As much as I think the user interface is intuitive, the lag on the app for me is an issue. Making you wait for images to load while the edited previews isn't much of a problem but we are all accustomed to see instant previews and any delays of over 1 second would seem like eternity. And since the editing features are similar to Snapseed, why would I switch over? I would like to see a mobile app that has ISO noise control but presently, only Adobe Lightroom Mobile supports that one feature that is missing from Snapseed.
As an art project, I can see the appeal of VSCO. But art doesn't really sell these days since the market for art in America is like a geriatric person slipping into a coma. Photographic art has a better chance of succeeding in Europe than in America.
However if you are one of those photographic art people who want a different space to show your wares, you could give VSCO a shot. Instagram is still my goto place for photo sharing while Snapseed will remain my go to app for all image enhancements and editing. Would I switch to a PC to edit my shots? Probably not either.
In today's world of digital photography, you can easily upload your DSLR captured JPG images to Google Photos Cloud and share that to Snapseed on your mobile for editing. Using less to do more is the key here to a mobile photography workflow even if you shoot occasionally on a DSLR. Make of that what you will.