How do photo sharing apps store data?

11 photo sharing apps tested

Dirk Bongardt

The smartphone has permanently changed the way users use their photos. Instead of framing prints or having photo books printed, they do one thing with them above all else: They share them.

If you share pictures, you do it privately and only for a few minutes, sometimes with the whole world - and sometimes even with completely strangers. Apps and services try to meet the very different wishes that users associate with sharing their pictures. Recognition in the form of likes, social interaction with random recipients, and even a certain degree of privacy protection are promised by some apps that make the photos sent disappear after a few minutes - but rarely without any residue. We tested eleven great photo sharing apps for you - some with a social network, some without.


Photos sent with Snapchat only remain visible to the recipient for a moment, after which they should be permanently deleted. Sending sensitive photos with it is a matter of trust.

Snapchat is a social network specializing in the fleeting sharing of photos. The sender determines how long their photo should be visible to the recipient, the maximum limit is ten seconds. Of course, this tempts you to send photos from the categories “embarrassing” to “piquant”. But be careful: The recipient can save the photos permanently with the help of special apps, via the screenshot function or simply by taking a picture. “Stories”, sequences of images from individual snaps, which the user can create if desired, are retained for longer, namely 24 hours.

Seductively simple

Snapchat sends photos that were taken with the app's internal camera. This is functionally quite limited, but can at least switch between the front and rear camera, control the light and add a filter and / or a line of text to photos after they have been taken. If the user keeps their finger on the shutter button, the camera records a short video instead of a photo. If you want, you can save your recording permanently in your own gallery - otherwise you will lose it after sending it. The design is simple, documentation would be superfluous - apart from the warning notices attached.

Conclusion on the test of the Android app "Snapchat"

The idea behind Snapchat - to let the recipient take a quick look at a picture before it's deleted - is all too easy to bypass.

Advantage: easy handling

Disadvantage: Images can be intercepted and saved permanently.

Overall grade: 2.03

Functionality (45%): 2.50

Operation and support (40%): 1.50

Design (15%): 2.00

German-speaking, free of charge


The Android app Slingshot from Facebook shows sent photos for up to 24 hours on the recipient's device, after which they are deleted.

Slingshot is Facebook's answer to the hugely successful Snapchat service. A photo sent with Slingshot is visible on the recipient's device until he wipes it away, but disappears by itself after 24 hours at the latest - even if the recipient has not yet looked at it. In terms of security and privacy, the same restrictions apply as with Snapchat: One way or another, recipients can save the photos they have received permanently, so it needs to be carefully considered who is to be sent which picture.

Fleeting art

With Slingshot it is also possible to follow photo artists who do not belong to your own circle of friends. The aforementioned restrictions also apply to these photos received. In addition to photos, Slingshot can also be used to create videos up to 15 seconds long. Photos can be supplemented with lettering and drawings, videos at least with a label. The app is easy to use, the design is functional.

Conclusion on the test of the Android app "Slingshot"

Facebook's answer to the top dog Snapchat offers only slightly different options. Given the lifespan of 24 hours, users should think carefully about the type of photos they want to send.

Advantage: Viewers can view photos for as long as they want within the 24 hours

Disadvantage: Comparatively small number of users

Overall grade: 1.98

Functionality (45%): 2.40

Operation and support (40%): 1.50

Design (15%): 2.00

English speaking, free of charge

EyeEm - Photo Filter Camera

The Android app EyeEm - Photo Filter Camera gives the user access to the social photo platform EyeEm, which specializes in photos from mobile devices.

EnlargeEyeEm - Photo Filter Camera

EyeEm is a social network in which the photos are more the focus than the respective groups of friends. Although users can follow one another, each EyeEm user can view all the photos stored on the platform in addition to their circle of friends via albums, places and times. Photos can be uploaded via the internal camera, but other images stored on the device are also available. The “share” function can even be used to publish recordings from cloud storage such as Dropbox, which makes it possible to undermine the intended restriction to smartphone recordings.

Easy editing included

Each photo, whether taken with the app's own camera or from the gallery, can be brightened up with the help of a few color filters and various frames before uploading. Unlike Instagram, EyeEm accepts images with any aspect ratio - but if you like, you can also crop your photos square. Inspiration is provided by a look at the thematically named albums and the regularly published photo missions, in which users can win different prizes with their pictures. The design is chic, no documentation is required.

Conclusion on the test of the Android app "EyeEm - Photo Filter Camera"

The app is not a camera, but a versatile client that provides access to an interesting social photo platform.

Advantage: Viewing photos beyond your own circle of friends

Disadvantage: No purely private sharing of photos

Overall grade: 1.72

Functionality (45%): 1.50