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Pixelfed offers an interesting alternative to centralized, algorithm-driven, commercial photo sharing services.

Sometimes, it’s painful to watch people make the same mistake again and again. When Flickr’s bright star started to fade, anyone remotely interested in photography moved to Instagram. With Instagram losing its luster faster than a mountain hare loses its winter coat, there is a rush to VERO, Glass, and other photo sharing services that promise to be different but are essentially the same. The features offered by the current batch of Instagram challengers may vary, but the overall premise is unchanged: a service run by a commercial entity that dictates the rules and to whose fortunes and whims you’re beholden. So you’ll be forgiven for sagely shaking your head and murmuring to yourself, “Will they ever learn?”

Fortunately, shutterbugs and serious photographers who are not willing to go down the same road again can choose an alternative path: Pixelfed [1]. If you haven’t heard the name before, you’re not alone. While Pixelfed has been around for a while, it has been following the same trajectory as Mastodon. Twitter going down in flames has sent people scrambling for alternatives, with Mastodon providing a perfect harbor for Twitter refugees. While none of the mainstream photo sharing services have suffered a misfortune of a similar magnitude, the seed of doubt has been planted: Perhaps sharing your photos and building a following using a centralized commercial service is not all it’s cracked up to be after all. This is where Pixelfed (Figure 1) comes into the picture (no pun intended).





Figure 1: Pixelfed looks like a regular photo sharing platform.

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