About a month ago I discovered what has become one of my very favorite iPhone apps: Instagram, released in October. I have several photography apps on my phone, including paid ones, but this free app has quickly become my most-used, primarily because they’ve nailed the social media aspect of it.
Instagram allows you to use either photos you take from within the app or from your photo library; edit them with cool, retro filters; and upload them to your Instagram feed. You also have the option of adding the photos to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous, or Foursquare. One drawback is that you can’t zoom the camera from within the app (I can with Best Camera, one of my other favorite iPhone camera apps). If I want to zoom, I just take the photo with the regular camera app and import it to Instagram.
Instagram is slice-of-life. Those things that you’re told no one wants to hear about on Facebook and Twitter—what you’re eating, wearing, etc.—they don’t mind seeing. Almost nothing is mundane.
You’ll want to follow people who are your real life, online (or both) friends, otherwise their images probably won’t mean much to you. Once the app is installed, click the Profile tab to search your address book, Facebook, and Twitter friends (the Twitter search never works for me) to see who’s on Instagram and select who you want to follow (the photos they upload will be in your feed). I installed it on my husband’s phone and he immediately uploaded two photos.
Instagram has some heavy investors, so there will probably be additional (paid) filter options and apps for other camera phones in their future. The quality of photos in my flickr stream may have taken a dive, but I’m having so much fun on Instagram that I just don’t care. For a girl who loves seeking beauty in the mundane, it’s a perfect app.