Cara vs. Instagram – that’s why many artists are switching to Cara.App

Instagram vs Cara

In the US, people are often a few months ahead when it comes to new trends on the internet. The current trend seems to be the platform Cara.app which is currently still in beta, but has already gained many artists as members. And membership is even free. There is currently no advertising or paid subscriptions on Cara - the only option is to voluntarily add something to your coffee fund (Bus me a coffee).

the essentials in brief

  • Artists switch from Instagram to Cara app
  • Instagram favors paid content, which makes unpaid posts less visible
  • Cara is ad-free and arts-focused
  • No AI-generated content on Cara
  • Promotes direct connections between artists and art lovers
  • Cara is in the beta phase and is financed through voluntary contributions
  • Provides a supportive community for artists
On Cara's homepage you can already see the focus on art and works of art - I like it better than the Instagram homepage.
On Cara's homepage you can already see the focus on art and works of art - I like it better than the Instagram homepage.

Problems with Instagram

Instagram has made some big changes in the last few years that have been quite frustrating for artists like me. In the beginning, Instagram was great for creative people: you could just show your art and reach a lot of people quickly. But now it feels different.

Here are a few examples of what has changed:

  • Paid content preferred: Instagram now primarily shows posts that someone paid for in order to reach more people. This means that my own contributions will be lost if I don't spend money on them. That's why I neglected my Instagram account. For me it's hardly worth it if it doesn't get me more visitors to my blog. Instagram didn't offer me a direct way to simply go to my website from a post.
  • Too much advertising and irrelevant stuff: There are now a lot more advertisements and posts that have nothing to do with art. This makes it harder for real artists to get noticed.
  • Artificial intelligence everywhere: Instagram is using more and more AI to create content. This leads to original and genuine works of art getting lost in the crowd.

It's no wonder many artists are turning away from Instagram. The platform simply doesn’t support our work the way it used to.

My Instagram profile is not eye candy – I’m aware of that. As a tech blogger it is also a little more difficult than a travel blogger.
My Instagram profile is not eye candy – I’m aware of that. As a tech blogger it is also a little more difficult than a travel blogger.

That's how Cara does it

If you look at what bothers artists about Instagram, you can understand why a large proportion of artists switch from Instagram to Cara. Creatives are looking for new ways to share their work and trying to find a community that truly values ​​their creative vision. This is where Cara comes into play – a fresh, AI-free platform that puts art and creativity at its heart. So you won't find any travel photos from VanLife bloggers or any influencers.

What makes Cara so attractive:

  • Focus on art: Cara is specifically designed to support artists and their work. What matters here is not who pays the most, but who is creative.
  • No AI in art: Cara currently rejects the use of artificial intelligence to generate content. The team behind Cara believes that the current way in which art is used unsolicited to train AI models is ethically unacceptable. Until this matter is resolved, no portfolio featuring AI art will be hosted on Cara unless it can be proven that it was created ethically.
  • Real Connections: Cara is trying to build a community where artists can interact directly with art lovers, without algorithms interfering.

Cara is still in beta and it's free to join. There are currently no advertising or paid subscriptions, which makes it very attractive for artists. The only financial support for the platform comes from users who voluntarily “throw something into the coffee fund”. Of course, it will be interesting when Cara has to earn money and thus enter into real competition with Instagram and Co.

Here is a quote from the website:

We disagree with generative AI tools in their current unethical form and will not host AI-generated portfolios until the rampant ethical and privacy issues surrounding data sets are addressed through regulation.

In the event that laws are passed to clearly protect artists, we believe that AI-generated content should always be clearly labeled, as the public should always be able to easily search for art and media created by humans.

I think this is a clear and understandable point of view that speaks from the hearts of many artists.

Cara currently speaks out against AI art and does not want to make room for it until an ethical way in which this art can be created is found.
Cara currently speaks out against AI art and does not want to provide space for it until an ethical way for this art to be created is found.

What makes InstaInstagragram different from Cara?

The differences between Instagram and Cara are particularly noticeable in the features that are important for artists. Here's a closer look at some of these points:

featureInstagramFace
target audienceBroad audience, including brands & companiesArtists and creative people
FocusCommercial, broadart and creativity
ContentMixed, with lots of advertising and marketingFocused on artistic works
algorithmPrioritizes paid contentNo preferential treatment for paid content
AI useUsing AI for content generationNo use of AI for art production
MonetizationAdvertising, sponsored contentDonation-based (voluntary contributions)
CommunityBig and diverseBuilding an engaged arts community

Challenges for Cara

Although Cara offers many advantages for artists and creatives, the young platform also faces some challenges and uncertainties. It is important to recognize and understand these to get a complete picture of Cara and assess her long-term viability.
Cara's main problems and insecurities:

How to scale?

How can Cara continue to grow without losing the close-knit and artistically focused community? This is a challenge for many niche platforms, as growth often goes hand in hand with a dilution of original goals.

How will the financing work?

Cara is currently financed through voluntary contributions. This model could be difficult to maintain as the platform grows larger. The question arises as to how Cara can ensure a sustainable financial foundation without resorting to invasive advertising or content that does not serve the artistic community.

How does the infrastructure grow with the coffee cash register?

As the number of users grows, the demands on the technical infrastructure also increase. Cara must ensure that the platform remains stable and can be scaled efficiently to ensure a positive user experience. And this increases the running costs, which probably cannot be covered for long by just a “coffee fund”.

Will the artistic focus remain?

How can Cara ensure that it continues to be a space where genuine artistic creations are celebrated, especially when monetary aspects come into greater play?

Cara's team also realizes that money has to come in to keep the project going.
Cara's team also realizes that money has to come in to keep the project going.

What's next for Cara?

There are different ways Cara could go:

  1. Expansion of services: Cara could introduce additional services specifically tailored to artists, such as: B. a kind of “merch” or the printing of works of art on textiles or other things. Partnerships with art galleries could also be used to create added value for artists, which they pay for with subscriptions or one-off payments.
  2. Introducing a Premium Subscription: A subscription model with additional features for a monthly fee could be a way to generate sustainable revenue while keeping the basic version free. This is a type of financing that many platforms have already successfully implemented and that could certainly work for Cara too.
  3. Expand community initiatives: Cara could expand its community-based features. For example, you could create collaborative projects and help new, unknown artists network with other artists or brands. A LinkedIn for artists, so to speak.

Conclusion: Is it worth switching to Cara?

Cara could be an interesting addition to Instagram for artists, especially for those who are looking for an artist-friendly community in addition to market trends. Since Cara is currently free, it makes sense to use both platforms in parallel. This means you can use the advantages of each platform without disadvantages such as reduced visibility on Instagram being too significant. In the long term you can then decide which platform makes more sense and you can “ditch” the other portal, as the young people say.

Since I'm just a simple blogger who doesn't really create visual art, I won't start with Cara, but if you're a photographer or other art maker then it might be interesting to check out Cara.

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