The iPhone and iPad are supposedly the only stylish and hip phones available on the market. Their design teams, programmers, and app developers all tout a superior attitude towards the platform that irks the disdain of others. The “fan-boys” of iPhone have been equally admonished for their fervor for the products. A recent ad by Samsung mocks the Apple fans who wait in line and claim they are “creatives” while they work as baristas at Starbucks. It claims that the Samsung Galaxy S II is far superior to the outdated features and marketing hype surrounding iPhone releases.
The one thing that the baristas have always had over Android phone users is the awesomely social photo snapping service Instagram. If you are an Android user and have seen photos of hipsters drinking PBR at weird concert venues, you have probably wondered why the pictures look like they’re straight out of the opening sequence of The Wonder Years. Instagram is a photo filtering program that adds classic vintage effects to photos that iPhone users have cherished for years; but that is all about to change.
Android has long been the playground of techies for using powerful rooted apps and open source LMS. Now with the recent aesthetic improvements from companies like Samsung, more of the “trendy” crowd is gravitating toward the brand and so is Instagram.
According to CNET, Instagram has people working on an app designed specifically for Android users. With over 15 million people using the service on iPhone alone, the number of users could more than triple with the massive influx of those who use Android based devices. CEO Kevin Systorm says that the ultimate goal for his company is to increase the members of the network in order to draw in more advertisers for text based messages.
With the inclusion of Android into their business strategy, Instagram has outreach to more than 50 percent of the smartphone market. The Globe and Mail reports that the company decided to move away from just iPhones because of the lackluster camera features included with the iPhone 4. While the iPhone 4S has much improved features and the popular Camera+ app, more people are starting to switch to the Samsung Galaxy S II
While expanding the company and having much higher data needs, Instagram is set on keeping their service free. They are relying on text based messages just like every other free app available and probably won’t charge for premium accounts and additional services because of their commitment to keep their product open. Instead, they are looking for ways to charge brands for premium accounts which will allow them greater access to consumers.
While we still have some time to wait until Android users start using Instagram, the release is inevitable. Instead of taking ironic pictures of people posing in skinny jeans, our Facebook NewsFeeds might get overrun with Android geeks showing off their office’s new server stacks. Instagram may lose its “cool” factor, but the business will make much more money in the long run.