Instagram, the photo-sharing app for iPhone, is on track to become the world’s largest mobile social network. The free app allows users to form online communities and share photos taken on their iPhone via Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
Snapshot of success
Instagram, which has been operating since October 2010, acquired two million new users in the past month, bringing its total followers to around 14 million.
While Instagram’s closest rival, the mobile check-in service Foursquare currently has around 15 million users, it is growing at a slower rate and Instagram’s is poised to take the number one spot in early 2012.
Brands say cheese
Brands such as Burberry, Pepsi Max and Starbucks have successfully used Instagram as a way of building large online communities. Starbucks has a slideshow on its website which features pictures taken in Starbucks cafes around the world. Users submit their photos using the #starbucks hashtag.
Instagram allows brands to share images with users, who can then comment and share them with their friends. Users can also follow brands on Instagram, much the same way they do on Facebook or Twitter.
A picture of things to come
Instagram’s growth spurt is indicative of the swing towards consumers accessing the web via mobile devices. With Australians now the largest owners of smartphone per capita of any country in the world, this audience is only likely to grow.
Instagram is currently only available for the iPhone, with an Android version expected to launch in mid 2012.