The Cyber Phenomenon Called Instagram

By @ibtimesau on

To indicate the growing use of Instagram among social networking sites, in the Tuesday election in the U.S., over 100,000 photos taken with the photo application was tagged with #iVoted and 150,000 with #election2012.

Although it pales in comparison to the over 3 million likes in Facebook and 600,000 shares in Twitter of the photo of election winner Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, the numbers indicate that Instagram is another cyber phenomenon that could grow even bigger in the coming days.

Instagram became popular because of its function to capture images and share it to favourite social network sites. It is a free photo sharing programme and social network that was launched in October 2010. The service enables users to take a photo, apply digital filter to it, and then share it with other Instagram users connected to social network. As of September 2012, there are 100 million registered users.

Recognising the growing popularity of the app, Facebook acquired Instagram on April 12, 2012.

Effects available for photo filters in Instagram (2.5.1 in iOS) are:

§  Normal which has zero effect.

§  X-Pro II - warm saturated effect with emphasis on yellow.

§  Earlybird - faded, blurred, focuses on yellow and beige.

§  Lo-Fi - slightly blurred with yellow and green saturate.

§  Sutro - Sepia effect with emphasis on purple and yellow.

§  Toaster - high exposure.

§  Brannan - low key with focus on gray and green.

§  Valencia - highly contrasted, slight on gray and brown

§  Inkwell - black and white filter with high contrast.

§  Walden - washed-out color with blue overtone.

§  Hefe - fuzz with focus on gold and yellow tones.

§  Nashville - sharpens the image with magenta purple tint. Border framed.

§  1977 which gives 1970 flair.

§  Lord Kelvin - super saturated, retro photo with scratchy border.

Instagram is available to both iOS and Android camera photos with version 2.2 and above.

Instagram is not the only photo app available. There are also Hipstamatic, Molome and Pizap.

Hipstamatic is a digital photography application for the Apple iPhone. It uses the iPhone's camera to allow user to shoot square photographs to which it applies a number of software filters to make the images look as though they were taken with an antique film camera. The user can choose among a number of effects which are included in the application as simulated lenses, films, and flashes.

The program is a part of a retro trend in photography which has been a rise in popularity of cheap and technically obsolete analog cameras and for software filters that emulate such cameras. As of November 2010, Hipstamatic has been sold 1.4 million times and received additional publicity when Damon Winter, a New York Times photographer, used it in 2010 to illustrate a front page story about the Afghanistan War.

Molome is an application for Android OS before the Instagram version for the same OS. It was originally available for the Symbian platform until they launched it on the Android. Molome requires the user to register for a new account. Upon log in, the user can access the profile from the menu at the bottom of the screen.

Photos are seen which have been taken, how many friends and followers the user has, plus badges received. Molome can be connected to Twitter or Facebook, which then allows search for users and to look up suggested friends. Molome does not live up to Instagram but is a good alternative for other users who cannot use Instagram. Molome may be new but it has an interaction screen for others which may lead to a better service features.

Instagram captures images from iPhone or Android, add filters then uploads to favourite social sites while PizAp allows user to edit images online and then be posted directly to Facebook. Instagram is mobile, while PizAp has wider range of editing functions but is usable via browser.

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