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Barinsta: The Open Source Instagram Client

austinhuang0131 profile image Austin Huang ・2 min read

Since someone did mention our app on this platform, I figured that I might as well make a central post.

Anyway, for those who don't know what Barinsta is: It is a (and the only, as of now) FOSS Instagram client. It is designed to be more useful while less addictive. It promotes responsible use of social media while giving users a bit more control on privacy. It is available on F-Droid.

GitHub logo austinhuang0131 / barinsta

Open-source alternative Instagram client on Android.

Obviously dev.to seems to be a high-end blog-like platform, so no more babbling about features.

The Backstory

Barinsta is the reincarnation of the abandoned InstaGrabber project, which is an open source Instagram downloader. At that time, I discovered F-Droid, and started replacing most apps with their open source counterparts (eg. Frost, Infinity, etc). Due to the pandemic, I also became concerned over my social media use and gradually started to drop my Instagram usage. So InstaGrabber, which still allows me to access posts, stories, and DMs, while stripped of other useless features, seems to be a good choice.

Unfortunately, it had quite some bugs, and it is abandoned by the original developer. Given my programming experience and also desire to learn Java (I had no experience prior to this), I decided to give it a try. I made some small hotfixes and gained the trust from the community. I officially started the reincarnation project (at that time still called InstaGrabber) a month later, which was then rebranded to Barinsta. So I guess I made my first app!

Today

There is great demand for using open source apps to access proprietary social media platforms (After all, open source platforms are not that popular and it's hard to move people over). As well, the official Instagram app is quite bloated, which is further tainted by Facebook's track record on privacy. As Barinsta fills that huge void in the market, it received quite some attention. I was able to get another developer on board. Together, the UI is greatly improved, and with new features, we're on track to become a full-fledged Instagram client.

We also need new maintainers! If you think you're good at Java and want to contribute to the great cause, come join us!

Future

Facebook, notorious for invading privacy, now faces many legal challenges over their business dealings. The general population cannot wait for political action - We must act with our phones. However, simply rejecting Instagram could risk friendships and cause distress (FOMO). Rather than trying to enforce a hard boycott, Barinsta aims to gradually change people's behaviour for the better.

Ask any questions below!

Discussion (4)

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prashantsengar profile image
Prashant Sengar

Hi Austin!
I love the app and have been using it for a while now. I just wanted to ask you if it is safe to use? Is the app registered with Instagram? Can my account get banned if I use Barinsta?
(Also using Frost, it's awesome as well)

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austinhuang0131 profile image
Austin Huang Author

It's generally safe to use but bans have occurred before.

There are no "registered" third-party apps for Instagram.

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sfksuperman profile image
Shah Faisal Khan

What? Ban? Then why do we use this app?

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austinhuang0131 profile image
Austin Huang Author • Edited

It gives you (more control of your) privacy and wellbeing and Facebook doesn't like that