You should be able to download pictures from VSCO

VSCO is, in case you are not familiarized with it, a set of tools and online spaces organized around the concept of sharing pictures. At the core of this set of functionalities lies a simple photo-sharing social network. The main differentiation points with similar networks are its lack of social features like dms or stories and its professional aura.

These two aspects make navigating your feed calmed and smooth. I appreciate both, but the experience gets ruined for me due to some usability problems. The main one is that you cannot download pictures uploaded by other users. They do not mention this feature’s purpose on their FAQ nor in any other official source I could find. My guess is that it contributes to the professinal feeling they try to impregnate the product with, while being easily justifiable for privacy reasons.

The thing is that features like this does not help with privacy at all, and they introduce another problem. Doing this VSCO is getting between you and some of your rights. Let me explain that. You can always use pictures you find online, it is a right you have. The fair use doctrine is there to ensure it. You are always allowed to store those pictures for personal archival reasons too.

Understanding that, I struggle to see any reason to respect the platform rules and avoid downloading its pictures, so I got to it. I developed @VSCOdownloader, a Telegram bot that will send you the picture if you send its public URL. I chose to serve this functionality from a Telegram bot because it is easy to share the picture’s URL with a Telegram chat when using the VSCO app on a phone, which is what I normally do. If you use it from your computer or want to avoid Telegram for some reason, other web based solutions can be found too.

Note: The code is released under a GNU general public license in this repo.