Instagram, one of the hottest photo-sharing applications currently available on the market is about to become even hotter. This week at the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive festival, the company announced that they will soon be releasing the long-awaited version of their popular app for the (wait for it)…Android market. Yes folks, that’s correct…soon you’re going to be able to enjoy the gratification that your friends get by applying filters to your photos and proudly displaying them in your social graph like they looked almost painted or done by a professional photographer. For me personally, this is something that I’ve longed for ever since Instagram came out and am ecstatic to hear the news.
But then again, this hasn’t been the first time that we’ve heard that the Android version was forthcoming. Last December, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said at the Le Web conference in 2011 that the service had begun working on the app, but now several months later, more news about Instagram’s development. However, don’t think that they haven’t done anything with the Android version and they’re just stalling…on the contrary, Mr. Systrom said at SXSW this week that a private beta group has already been assembled and are taking the app for a test spin. All that we know so far is that the Android app version is “coming soon”.
Lately, Instagram has been on a tear, of sorts, and has definitely grown into being an app to be looked at as a model for photo-sharing competitors or just developers in general. As CNET reports, when the company launched just two years ago, they only had 25,000 users. But now, thanks to an explosive demand for the iPhone and its increasingly superior hardware (especially in the camera), the company announced that they have over 27 million users–all people signed up and using it on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. Exceptionally good for a company who could potentially wind up doubling that number as soon as the Android version has hit the market–if not more. Here in the United States, it appears that the Android market share is more than that of iOS devices, probably due to the proliferation of Android OS and the multitude of manufacturers. So when Instagram drops the app into the Android marketplace (i.e. Google Play), then it will be an interesting view to see their user base jump.
I, for one, await with baited breath to download the Android version…hopefully it will arrive soon. Ideally it would have been nice to have it for SXSW this year, but unfortunately they didn’t appear to be ready for the big show. But the attention that the service has been getting at SXSW has been great. At their talk this week, Mr. Systrom stated that those who used the app within the last week, 67% of them have used it two days ago. And we might also see something brand-spanking new for Instagram too…it’s being said that the Android version may have some special features that even the iOS counterpart doesn’t. Not sure what that means exactly, but guess we’ll have to wait to find out.