Instagram has swept away Internet and mobile users into a world of filtered photos, with a heart as a “like” button. Comments are not as widely used and instead, viewing is king. Take and edit a photo, post it, scroll through others photos, scroll, see how many people liked your photo, then scroll some more; the idea is simple. But as with all basic and useful ideas, popularity spread, and imitators have emerged. Now that some users have turned up their noses at Instagram due to the Facebook takeover, where will they turn for photosharing?
Some of the new apps have photosharing (a social network) built-in, such as:
Hipster – the same concept as Instagram but with rectangular photos. To these, users can add locations and comments, basically creating postcards.
Picplz – a social photography app with a sophisticated editing program, even features a function to make memes out of your photos.
EyeEm – groups shared photos by categories such as coffee, New York, etc.
PicYou – an Instagram-like app that boasts itself as exclusively for the iPhone.
Jittergram – allows you to create a 3D-like image, called a stereogram or stereograph.
Path – an Android app called a “smart journal that lets you share your life with the ones you love.”
Other competitors take exclusively from the editing aspect of the application, offering only filters and photo editing. Some examples of these are Camera Awesome, Pixlr-O-Matic, CamWow, Camera+, Hipstamatic, and Retro Camera Plus. Though these apps do not have the social network built-in, the photos can be exported to other social photosharing apps, as well as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Hipstamatic even went so far as to forge a partnership with Instagram this March, granting users the ability to upload their Hipstamatic photos directly to their Instagrams.
Despite the failure of these competitors to reach the entire market of photosharers, some because they haven’t had the chance, and others because they decide not to (iPhone-only Apps), the recent acquisition of Instagram has pushed customers to look for alternatives. According to a recent article by Franzen, the Facebook acquisition had an extremely positive effect on PicYou downloads; and PicYou is not embarrassed to admit to the hope that users would consciously switch to their app because of the takeover.
Though competitors have seen and apparently seized their opportunity, it is hard to imagine any of these single apps rising above the intense popularity and streamlined experience provided by Instagram. Many competitor apps lack a social network, the driving force behind Instagram’s growth. The 40 million users of Instagram share their filtered photos with the online and mobile app, providing a rich network of followers, those who are followed, personal comments and clicked hearts. As Instagram builds additional partnerships and perhaps as Facebook initiates takeovers, the app will continue to dominate. The rich social network provided by the application is exclusive to Instagram. Users can login directly through Facebook, making it very easy to find other users you know and might want to follow, the very first time you use the app.
As with all social media applications, larger numbers of users contributes heavily to the value and enjoyment of Instagram. As a result, competitor apps much catch up in user numbers and the number of posts before they can dream of Instagram-like success.
If you find yourself asking “What is Instagram?” then you’re probably not an avid Instagrammer. If this makes you feel out of the loop, don’t worry, we can give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the revolutionary application that has everyone talking.
Here it goes:
InstaApp: Instagram is a free mobile photo sharing app designed to allow users to connect with others through photography. It creates an easy way for users to transition from amateur picture-taker to talented photographer and artist. The name Instagram comes from the combination of two words: instant and telegram. Instagram founders wanted to create an app that was based on the idea of the Polaroid camera, one that produced instant pictures. They also believed that these instant snapshots were “kind of like telegrams in that they got sent over the wire to others.” By combining these two inspirations, the Instagram app was created. This combination has created an enormous success: Apple Inc. named Instagram its “App of the Year” in December 2011, a title that makes it THE photo sharing app.
InstaUsers: At of the beginning of this month, the number of Instagram users hit 40 million. The number of users is multiplying at an extreme rate, with the app first released in October 2010. Users become both followed and followers. Instagram connects with social media applications Facebook and Twitter to search your friend list for users that you know. It can also search the contact application on your smartphone to connect you with your closest friends. But who says you need to limit yourself to people you already know? That is the power of such social media apps. You can follow anybody – Instagram suggested users, those who hashtag photos with a subject of your interest, and followers of your friends. You can even follow your favorite company, as hundreds of organizations have taken their business to the Instascene. And very similar to Facebook, you can tag users with your photo posts, comment on photos, and “like” other users’ images as a symbol of your approval.
InstaEffects: When you want to use Instagram you have two options for getting pictures into the application: take a picture using the app itself or choose an existing photo in your phone’s memory. If you choose an existing image, Instagram will show a crop application to choose where you wish to crop the photo. All Instagram photos are square, so existing images must be cropped. From that point forward, the app offers you a variety of editing options and effects. You can choose to upload your photos with or without an assortment of different framing effects, you can rotate your image as desired, blur the edges, and brighten the image. Instagram’s most well-known differentiation includes its 18 filter effects with names like “Hefe,” “Earlybird,” and “Lo-fi.” These filters are what make it possible for anybody to create beautiful and vintage-inspired photographs by clicking a button or tapping a screen.
Welcome to our blog: the instablogger! Our blog will discuss everything you need to know about Instagram. Stay tuned for the next 8 weeks to learn what Instagram is about, who is using it, and how companies can utilize Instagram for social media marketing. Also, make sure to follow us on Instagram – username: Instabloggers.