Three weeks ago I started using instagr.am after noticing it in a friend's tweet. I was instantly amused and currently on my way to becoming obsessed. For the first time I have actually had a valid interest in a social network. And why wouldn't I? For those of you who don't know what instagr.am (IG) is, it is an iphone app that allows you to take pictures and share them across the IG community as well as share them on twitter, facebook, tumblr and flickr. The app comes with a variety of filters that you can apply to your photos before posting (similar to what you get from other iphone camera apps like camera bag, hipstamatic, fx studio, camera+, etc). What's great about IG app is it comes with it's own community so you can share and explore fellow IGers images, follow them, like them and make comments which actually can lead to a dialogue (both pictorial and conversational). Yep, it is exactly like if flickr, twitter and facebook had a child with camerabag on your iphone. It's awesome!
However it has some big drawbacks...
1.) there no web presence you have to have an iphone (but you can share your IG pics on flickr, FB, twitter and tumblr).
2.) The community is a little exclusive. Exploring images is a non existent because there are no tags, search engine or a random page. You can only explore through the popular page and getting "involved with the community." It's a little FFFFoundish in that way except anyone can have an account.
3.) Popular Page, from what I have read is based on the images that get the most "likes" in the shortest period of time. Which means you must have a shit load of followers that live on IG that "like" your pictures. Which also means that with no way to truly explore IG (because there are no tags) your only other obvious option is to surf the popular page, which is always the same people who have a shit load of followers. How'd they get these followers? Most of them were early users so it just happened by default. Although there are a ton of great images on IG popular page there are also many clichés and crap too. And sadly there are probably hundreds of thousands (and counting) of phenomenal images that will never make the popular page. :-(
4.) If only I could share my pics on squarespace (directly). Currently you can only share on FB, twitter, flickr, tumblr, posterous and foursquare. No wordpress, typepad, blogger, etc.
5.) Copyright setting. Although many IGers watermark their pics it would be nice if there was a copyright setting on IG as well as an easy way to quote another IGer and link them to their image.
Despite it's drawbacks it's a fun app and I think it has a lot of potential. There is so much more I could say, but I think all stop here. FYI: IG was launched in October and already has over a million users, including NPR. See mashable story here.
If you are using instagr.am? Come find me and check out my iphone pics @creativebleed
For more instagr.am iphone pics check out creativebleed photostream on flickr or click here. k
Since this post I have made the popular page (Hooray for me!) and Instagram now has #hashtags which is AWESOME! Now you can at least do a search and really explore the images on IG, read more about that here. They also added a few more filters too.