Testing photo editing apps: ″VSCO″ | Digital Culture | DW | 17.06.2020

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Digital Culture

Testing photo editing apps: "VSCO"

If you want to take pictures with your smartphone and quickly share beautiful results, you need effective image editing tools. DW Digital tests the most popular apps. This week: "VSCO".

"VSCO" is available as a free app for iOS and Android devices. Their aesthetic filters are especially popular with instagrammers. In 2019, the app gained greater popularity when "VSCO girls" became a social media trend in the USA. The term stands for a certain type of user: girls who posted photos with recurring features like beaches and hip clothes on their social channels.


"VSCO" lets you edit and apply filters to your photos and share them directly to its own and other social networks. To use the app, you have to create or sign into an account.


"VSCO" is mainly about the filters, but the app also offers basic tools for editing photos such as exposure, contrast and color saturation.

The app also features web galleries where you can collect your pictures. You can work with existing images or take new photos in the app's studio mode.


When you're finished and happy with your work, you can publish your results directly to Instagram, Snapchat or other platforms. "VSCO" itself also features a social network to share the pictures. However, social interaction is minimal on "VSCO": likes don't appear on the public feed, plus there are no options for commenting or people tagging.


The main point of criticism for "VSCO" is that you are nudged towards signing up for a paid subscription, as it would get you 200 filters, as opposed to the free app's ten filters. You can do a seven-day free trial before deciding whether you want to upgrade. Alternatively, you can also purchase filter sets starting at 99 cent per set. However, upgrading to the premium version at 1.83 euros per month appears the smarter choice.


Top 2 pros:

- Simple design

- Handy editing tools for exposure and color


Top 2 cons:

- most filters require a paid upgrade

- no commenting on other users’ uploads


Price: Free for iOS and Android with in-App purchases // €21.99 per year or €1.83 per month for premium membership

Manufacturer: Visual Supply Company