“PicYou is the perfect tool for instantly sharing your photos and daily life with friends, family and the world.”

PicYou is a new free social photo app with photo filters, a sharing network, and Facebook and Twitter connectivity. In other words, Instagram.

In fact, PicYou is a lot like an older Instagram version 1.0 except with better filters. The debut version of PicYou has nine one-click filters, but they’re all pretty varied and a lot more usable than Instragram’s current set. I like the LOMO look of the Dreamy filter. Zeitgeist is a good, basic black & white filter. Infatuation has a great look of an aged, worn photograph. Kilowatt is a great square-format frame with an expired film look. There are some cool filters here.

The interface is basic and looks a lot like Instagram’s. The tool set is non-existent; there are very few frills. Users can toggle the image border on and off. There is no tilt shift tool or other image controls.

In the bottom toolbar are buttons for PicYou’s Popular feed and an Activity tab where you can see who’s liked and commented on your photos. They’re in the same positions as Instagram’s.

Two old sayings come to mind here: “Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery” and “Why reinvent the wheel….”

Images can be shared to PicYou, Facebook and Twitter. Photos are saved to your camera roll at 640×640 pixels. Even Instagram now supports high resolution saves. Instagram still supports every iPhone ever released, including the original iPhone 2G. You’ll need at least a iOS 4.0 to run PicYou. That’s not a problem for most iPhone owners.

PicYou’s advantage over Instagram is its web interface. You can pretty much do anything in a browser than you can do in the app, including upload images from your desktop.

Right now, there isn’t a lot of quality content in PicYou’s Popular feed. Many new users might be put off by the higher number of obvious DSLR photos and stolen images currently being uploaded. If more iPhone users adopt PicYou, that problem should manage itself.

Although a lot of people complain about the lack of quality filters and the amount of “noise” in the feeds, taking on Instagram is tough. A new social photo app will need the ever-present integration with many other photo apps that Instagram has helped to create, either by the SendToApp or Photo App Link protocols.

Although PicYou’s initial nine filters are pretty good, it’ll need more built-in filters to hold users’ interest. One of the appeals of Instagram is that shooting, one-click apping, and sharing is all very fast.

And in order to succeed, any takers will need size — quickly. PicYou will need a lot of users quickly to attract and hold interest the way that Instagram’s 15 million users does. That’s something that so far has evaded all other social photo startups.

The bigger question is with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s large user base and its coming entry in to the Android Market, is there even room on our iPhones and in our schedules for yet another social photo network?

“A lot like Instagram” is a phrase that came to mind when I was exploring PicYou. We already have Instagram. In my opinion, PicYou needs to do a better job of differentiating itself to give users a reason to move from their established network to a new one.

PicYou is free. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

App Store Link: PicYou