A FEW weeks ago, when I first discovered the wonders of the new iPhone App instagr.am, I almost caved in and bought the iPhone 4.
Such was my addiction – and I’m sure many others feel the same – with the photo sharing application that I wanted more superior picture taking quality to get better shots than my current iPhone.
Except that the wonderful thing about instagr.am is that you don’t really need the best quality camera. While it is essentially a photo-sharing application, what sets instagr.am apart from other similar applications is that it allows you to easily add effects to your pictures.
When I sent a tweet out asking people to share their favourite photo-sharing apps, and why, @sandoi said of instagr.am: “Simple, idiot-proof and produces amazing photos!”
Of course, another wonderful thing about the application is that it is extremely social. There is no point having access of great photographs when you have no one to appreciate it.
Besides the ability for other instagr.am users to “Like” a picture and to leave a comment, the application also allows users to directly share a picture on several other social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and FourSquare (which allows you to geo-tag your picture based on the location where you took it as well).
It is features like these that sets instagr.am apart from other similar applications and services that have been popular over the last couple of years including Twitpic and Flickr.
In fact, instragr.am’s uber-social features makes it almost as revolutionary now as Twitpic was when it first appeared (it allowed users to “attach” pictures to their tweets).
How instagr.am is different, though, is that it is making pictures the content (just imagine what a picture-tweet would look like).
This seems like natural progression for social media (not everyone communicate best with words). In fact, there are already a couple of applications that uses voices instead (like a voice-tweet) but that is for another day.
With social media applications becoming such a competitive industry, a lot of other applications need to play catch up to offer not only the same easy ability to share like instagr.am, but also a unique feature to differentiate it from one another.
Thanks to Twitter’s popularity, so many photo sharing applications emerged similar to Twitpic including plixi.com and Yfrog, yet they remain popular only because they are in-built into Twitter applications on many smartphones.
They are unable to stand alone as a service.
Even Flickr, which is a photo-sharing powerhouse belonging to Yahoo!, didn’t quite create the same buzz with its iPhone application. Its engine is definitely more superior, yet its phone application is highly limited social-wise. The only other network you are able to directly share a picture uploaded through the Flickr application is Twitter.
Having said all this, there is still room for improvement with instagr.am. They will need to keep their effect fresh (and new) and perhaps include other social features such as tagging (I wonder if there is a way to link themselves to Facebook’s social graph) and a “re-sharing” feature such as Twitter’s ReTweet function (which helps Twitpics get a greater reach).
Then again, who knows what will happen in the coming months. Someone might already be working on a killer photo-sharing app that will bowl us over all over again.
DailyBooth might just do that. It just launched, a couple of days ago, it’s 2.0 version a 3-second timer, integration with Facebook and Twitter, username search as wll as improved friend finding capabilities.
How it pans out remains to be seen. So much is happening … now, if only there was a way to capture all the excitement in a photograph.