Instagram has been creating a fair bit of buzz since it launched back in October. I’ve seen it popping up more and more in my Twitter and Facebook streams recently, and just over the last week or two it seems to have reached a point where every man and his dog is using it. Except me. For I have an Android mobile and Instagram is only available for the iPhone. Still.
|My first photo on PicPlz|
Over the weekend I cleared out my RSS reader, leaving only a handful of blogs to which I’m still subscribed (but more on that another time). The relevance? Well, this morning I had four new posts in my reader, and two of them were about Instagram. Dirk Singer posted a great guide to the service today, equally useful for anyone who hasn’t heard of it and anyone who wants to know more. It was further evidence to me that the demand for Instagram is about to go ballistic.
And yet only this weekend I finally gave up on my rather long and patient wait for the Android Instagram app after many ‘it’s coming soon’ promises and downloaded a competitor, PicPlz. PicPlz is essentially the same thing; you can apply artistic filters to photos on your mobile and share them across Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Posterous and Tumblr, as well as send them to Dropbox. You can follow people and people can follow you back. You can tag photos with titles and your location. And it works on both Android and the iPhone. If anything, it looks superior (although it doesn’t have as nice a name, admittedly).
The thing is, it’s very early days for me with PicPlz. But assuming I like it and start building a network (which is already 30 strong and I’ve only posted one photo), would I bother switching to Instagram if and when it gets round to launching its Android app? Probably not. So the fact that it’s taking so long to roll this out is a huge missed opportunity when Android now accounts for somewhere around one in five smartphones.
With the service starting to pick up coverage, recommendations from influential bloggers and chatter-a-plenty via social media channels, Instagram is in danger of that old problem where something takes off and demand exceeds supply. My understanding is that it has a very small team, but knowing that doesn’t stop me from being frustrated and signing up with a competitor, and I wonder how many other Android users have or will do the same. Now’s the time to capitalise on all the hype and goodwill out there for your brand, Instagram – don’t miss the boat…
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