Instagram, the hottest iPhone startup right now, isn’t complicated or even revolutionary.
It’s a simple photo-taking and photo-sharing app that has taken over Silicon Valley and is filling our Twitter feed with fun, cute photographs.You can get it for free from Apple’s App Store.
What’s it for
First, Instagram is for taking pictures, adding filters to make them look retro, and then for sharing them with sites like Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Facebook.
And second, it’s a simple social network of other people’s photos. You can “like” or comment on the photos, and see what’s new. It’s easy and doesn’t take much time or effort. This is one of the reasons it has become so popular so quickly.
A Photo-Based Social Networking Feed
The idea behind Instagram seems to be less archive-oriented and more feed-oriented. That is, instead of something like Flickr, which acts as a repository for your photo collection, Instagram is an app from which you share the random photos you snap on your phone from day to day. You can add effects, share your photos with your Instagram followers, and even upload them to other networks like Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Facebook. You can even have it check you into Foursquare when you upload a location-enabled photo. It’s actually a pretty neat app, even if you don’t have any friends on it—browsing through the “Popular” feed is entertaining in its own right. Hit the link to check it out.
Instagram is a free download for iOS, and supports cameras on the 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4.
Why Flickr didn’t create Instagram
Specifically, someone asked the question: Why did Flickr miss the mobile photo opportunity that Instagram and picplz are pursuing? The mobile photo space is red-hot right now with several players beyond the two mentioned vying to become a common app on smartphones. And one of them, Instagram, was able to gain over a million users in less than three months. So why wasn’t Flickr, with all the resources of Yahoo behind them, able to dominate this space first?
The simple answer, according to Elliot-McCrea, is “Innovator’s dilemma”. That is, if Flickr had wanted to create a successful service that leveraged Twitter’s social graph, they would have had to sacrifice their own login system for that of Twitter’s — which until more recently was considered very insecure. “The Yahoo! Paranoids would have shut us down in a heart beat,” Elliot-McCrea says.
Finally,you can find me in Instagram @wintbros.