Last Week in Mobile: Instagram Launches for Android

Corey Herscu is the Director of Online Strategy and Alliances at Toronto startup ContactMonkey, a service that makes it easy to share your contact information online. He is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Toronto-based mobile blog TheCellularGuru. Corey is a seasoned salesman with an abundance of tech experience who is passionate about networking, community-building, and Web 2.0 technologies. Find Corey online via TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and ContactMonkey.

A year and a half ago, a phenomena happened: iPhone users were given the ability to add filters to their pictures. Not only did this create a new wave of creativity, but it also ushered in a wave of new camera apps for iPhones that allow on-the-fly edits, filtering, and what-not.

Instagram is very easy to use and brings out the photographic artist in all of us, so it came as no surprise that within two months of launch they had gone viral, boasting a staggering one million users. Within six months (June 2011) they surpassed the five million user mark, and by September hit a staggering ten million. Stating Instagram went viral would be an understatement. Numbers like such are not often attained by any notable app, let alone one that is iOS only.

Award after award, accolade after accolade, Instagram quickly became one of the most popular apps in the App Store. This solidified their stature and allowed them to announce on February 2, 2011, that Instagram had raised $7 million in Series A funding from a variety of investors.

As their popularity grew over the course of the last year, so did the Android community. Yes, there are many Android photo-sharing filter apps, but none were Instagram. This made Android users’ restless, and so the questioning began: “When will Instagram finally be converted to Android?” Burbn, Inc (creators of Instagram) remained hush.

Then March 25th, 2012 came around. Out of nowhere a pre-registration page for the Android iteration of Instagram went live. Despite a lack of concrete information surrounding a firm release date, it was enough to make the Android community happy as 430,000+ users eagerly dropped off their email addresses. 

You see, normally one would think months would go by without any more word on this long-awaited app – maintain a keep a “make ‘em wait” mentality, keep ‘em excited and wanting more. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Just over a week later, during the morning of April 3rd, 2012, to be exact, Instagram for Android went live in the Google Play store. Needless to say, madness ensued. Within 24-hours of launch, Burbn announced that Instagram for Android had surpassed 1-million downloads and was still going strong. This was both staggering and unheard of. Never had an Android app of any kind seen such viral growth.

We’re now the first weekend in since launch and the app has already received 3 updates, all geared towards stability. Many have claimed stability issues, something I have not experienced personally on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus; I do however see a difference in image quality between the aforementioned and my iPhone 4S.

Are you an Android user? Have you signed up for Instagram? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.