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Why We're Still So Excited for Instagram and Travel Photography

April 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM | by | ()

We warned you it was coming! Social photo-sharing app Instagram launched today for Android and, while it's still totally free and available for download, its capabilities don't yet match the full functionality that iPhones enjoy with the app. Don't worry—it's all still coming. Better now download (right here), get your username reserved and start following people to see how it works. Shameless plug for our own accounts: jaunted, hotelchatter, vegaschatter.

Of course the introduction of the Android app will mean an influx of new users, so goodbye 27 million and hello...270 million? Of course all the new users won't just be Android, but more iPhone users as well as word spreads.

We're psyched. We're psyched that more people can now share the photos they've traveled for and spent time on. We're psyched for you guys to see ours as well. We're psyched for the future contests and opportunities that Instagram does so well.

Why we're so crazy about Instagram:
· It's blissfully free of ads and spam...thus far.
· It's a friendly community where feedback and sharing is the norm; users actually want to see your vacation photos.
· We can not only show you all the places we're excited about having gone, but can see where you're going as well. The enthusiasm is infectious, and this is why Instagram desperately needs to develop a way of saving "liked" photos into categories, because we'd have "to visit" full to the brim.
· As brands get into using it, we're only getting the good stuff from them. Take for instance American Airlines, who instagrammed pictures of their new seats. There was no press release or sales pitch or flash-encoded site to deal with. The pictures were right there, speaking for themselves and open to comments. That's bravery.
· It's simple. It's so simple, that sometimes we're forsaking the usual DSLR-photo import-Photoshop edit-upload process for the ease of phone snapshot-instagram filter-post. We even use it to illustrate stories (see here and here). Taking it further, we can share with you amazing photos (like behind-the-scenes onboard the Singapore Airlines A380) that don't make it into stories here, on our main site.
· It integrates beautifully with other social networks and sites like Flickr, Twitter, Hipstamatic, Tumblr, Foursquare and Facebook. (Android can't do Flickr integration yet, but it's coming).
· Instagram goes against the trend of reblogging content (see Pinterest & Tumblr) to encourage creativity and authenticity. For the most part, the images you see on Instagram are originals posted by their author, who retains the rights. This is something we believe in, can stand behind, and feel good about liking and sharing.

For all the details on what this first version of Instagram for Android can or can't do, check out this Engadget post.

[Photo: Jaunted on Instagram, using the TypoInsta app to add text]

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