Instagram – 8 (Photo credit: BrentOzar)
Instagram is becoming one of the fastest-growing social networking applications ever, even before hitting the Android Marketplace. In the past one and a half years, this app was downloaded 30 million times by iOS users. In the first week of its availability for the Android operating system, an estimated 5 million Android users downloaded it. At this rate, Instagram will reach 100 million users in less than two years. By comparison, it took Facebook four full years to reach 100 million users. So, why is Instagram so popular?
Ease of Use
While Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Google Plus and other social networking require a learning curve, Instagram is as easy as using a smartphone. Instagram combines the brevity of Twitter with the visual appeal of Pintrest and offers a completely intuitive app that anyone who can operate their smartphone should have no trouble mastering. Instagram is the first social networking platform that is fully mobile. There is no version for desktop or portable computers.
There are so many things you can use Instagram to do. There are the obvious uses, of course, such as sharing pictures of the kids with out-of-town grandparents and offering military parents the chance to see their children grow up. But there is a bigger picture, as is often the case with new social networking opportunities. Photojournalists have a whole new platform by which to bring their wares to the public eye. And there are even bigger possibilities, spotlighted when the independent rock band Vaccine had fans shoot their new video for them. Concert attendees photographed the event, posted it to Instagram with #vaccinevideo, and the band literally got a zero-production cost video created and posted for them.
Why Android? Why Now?
Developers of the Instagram app kept the iOS release lean and light. This allowed them to quickly respond to users concerns and demands, which allowed them to build a productive, intuitive, well-working app for the mass market. By adding Android users later, rather than sooner, the app is fully market-tested and ready to perform. There are few differences between Instagram for Android and Instagram for iPhone. iPhone users that switch to T-Mobile Android phones and download Instagram will hardly even notice they’re using it on a different operating system.
Android Marketplace and Instagram are Both in Transition
Even as the Instagram app becomes an instant success in the Android Marketplace, both Instagram and Android Marketplace are seeing other big changes take place. Facebook just announced their purchase of the small Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. And Android Marketplace changed almost overnight to Google Play. However, these changes have taken place seamlessly, and users hardly noticed much except the name change for their Marketplace app and sometimes slow Instagram downloads due to high volumes. If you’re trying to download Instagram and experience slow or timed-out responses, make sure you’re in an area that gets good 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi service. Also, try downloading at non-peak hours, such as during the early morning.