Instagram: new favorite Apple application

By Allie McKinley
On February 9, 2012

With over ten million users and counting, Instagram has become increasingly popular in the Apple App Store.

The quirky application creates a social network that allows users to share their life through a series of snapshots. Users can take pictures and share them on the service, or on a variety of other social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr.

Photography enthusiasts, along with novices, can enjoy the user-friendly app. It allows users to take a photo, which is then confined into a square shape, rather than the 4:3 aspect ratio normally used by iOS device cameras. In addition to taking photos with the app, users can also use pictures that are already located in their photo library. Users can then edit their photos through a filter, which transforms the color, mood, border and tonality of the image. There are currently 11 custom filters, all of which were produced from scratch by the Instagram team.

The popular app pays homage to both the Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras. The Instagram website states, "We loved how all the old Polaroid cameras marketed themselves as ‘instant' (something we take for granted today). We also felt that the snapshots people were taking were kind of like telegrams in that they got sent over the wire to others -- so we figured why not combine the two?"

Instagram launched in the Apple App Store on Oct. 6, 2010. By December of that year, the app had one million registered users. By June 2011, they reached 5 million, and by September 2011 Instagram had passed 10 million registered users. They announced that 100 million photos had been uploaded to their service as of July 2011; the total then reached 150 million in August of the same year. This previous December, Apple Inc. named Instagram "App of the Year" for 2011.

Instagram has become a popular app among college students. Freshman Spanish major Sarah Seibert from Cabot started using the app after she heard about it from her friends. "My best friend had the app and I thought it was cool. I've had it for about a year now, and I check it every day," Seibert states. "It makes me feel like a photographer, even though I'm really not one."

Andrew Fleeman, Sophomore Marketing major of Manila, discovered the app by browsing through the App Store at random. "I found it for free so I was like...what the heck, I might as well try it," Fleeman states. Since then, he has been using the app for about a year. "My favorite part about Instagram is its simplicity. They were able to take a simple photo app and make it to where people could edit and share." Fleeman says that his favorite filter to use for editing is X-Pro II. "The reason that it is my favorite filter is because it decreases the exposure and has the black lens correction around the outside. It makes the picture look more professional."

Instagram also has a blog that lists information about the app. Blog.instagram.com allows for users to look up different tricks and features to enhance the quality of their photos. In addition to these tips, the blog also contains a series known as the Weekend Hashtag Project, which encourages users to take photos that are described by a particular hashtag every weekend.

Instagram is currently available in the Apple App Store for free and is compatible with any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 3.1.2 or above.

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