Instagram, the uber-popular iPhone mobile app that lets users edit, stylize and share their photos, added an impressive 2 million users last month, coming close to the 15 million mark. The mobile app company attributes the boom to the launch of iPhone 4 and the holidays – more party photos to share! But their growth rate is strongly outpacing the other leading mobile-based app, Foursquare. And what’s really impressive about that is that Foursquare is on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Palm.
Sure, Instagram had its eyes set on mega-growth before its 2.0 launch earlier this year. And as we mentioned in an earlier blog, usability was its number-one improvement. Users can choose from four new filters with the 2.0 launch. And now, if you change your mind after you’ve taken a photo, you can apply a different filter fast – up to 200 times faster than in 1.0. But ease of use explains coming BACK. Why do people use Instagram in the first place?
“This thread is useless without pics.” Now more than ever, with mobile devices and tablets, we are visual internet users. Everyone who’s friends with you on Facebook or following you on Twitter wants to SEE your San Diego SantaCon pics. Instagram offers this still-by-still and encourages users to comment on each other’s pics. They make it easy. And having a funny username, commenting on other users’ photos (especially with emoticons) and engaging people who comment on your photos really helps create a community of followers.
The Real Story
But Instagram does more than document activity. It lets the user tell a story. Using Instagram means participating in two key components of interactivity – creativity and inspiration. Instagram’s filters help you tell your unique story by adding emotion – a sepia filter for nostalgia, a color-pop filter for irony – and help you connect with your audience in, well, the blink of an eye. A single snapshot of a San Diego sailboat can be romantic or retro, depending on the filter. And not only can you add filters and effects, you can also easily add depth of field (something that can be tough to pull off even with more complex software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop).
And the best part is, you get to play around until you decide. This is really the key to Instagram’s success. They let us play, get inspired and get creative. All from our phones and all for free. It’s no wonder Apple named them 2011 App of the Year!
Instagram photos above taken by President + Creative Director of Skybox Creative, Angelina Sereno. Follow her by name or @happygumdrops!
Skybox Creative is a San Diego based Branding Agency with an emphasis on Web Design and SEO. Get in touch for a free quote on your next design project or search engine marketing campaign! firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 619.381.3825