Just 24 hours after its Android debut, Instagram has seen more than 1 million downloads on Google Play. Instagram was dragging its feeds to enter the Android market and it seems like many people who had been waiting to get into the photo-sharing party rushed to quickly add the application to their phones once it became available.
When the service was only on iOS devices, Instagram was not having a hard time collecting more than 30 million registered users and already had 430,000 people on its Android waiting list.
The site has gained a lot of traction over its 18 month history with more than 1 billion photos shared and nearly 100 comments added every second on the app-centric service.
The stats from Google Play peg the number of Android downloads between 1 million and 5 million -- and with Android now capturing more than 50% market share of the smartphone market in the U.S., Instagram has the ability to double its usership to near 60 million very soon. That's quite an opportunity, especially since the company employees fewer than a dozen people.
Instagram is a free app which allows users to take photos with a variety of filters to create an aged or tinted effect. Users can then share their pictures with other friends on Instagram, on their Facebook wall or their Twitter feed.
There are plenty of photo sharing services on the market, most notably Flickr, but Instagram has built a strong following of people sharing pics on social media and applying fund filters for vintage-looking snapshots.
But that does't mean that the Android version on the market right now is a replica of the iOS app experience since some of the editing features, including the tilt shift feature are not yet available on the Android app.
The Android app, however, does have one feature not found on the iOS app: “Advanced Camera.” This feature will automatically resize your photo, so you don’t have to recrop the image inside the Instagram interface.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told The New York Times yesterday that the app was grabbing 2,000 people each minute following its debut.
Earlier this month, word came out that Instagram was set to raise a round of $40 million for a valuation of $500 million. The new funds would bring the total amount raised to $47.5 million in this second round of investing.
Instagram has been a hot app almost since it entered the scene, and Apple even named Instragram its app of the year for 2011.
Instagram has competition from some smaller apps, such as glmps, which combines a video and a photo into one, and Streamzoo, which also allows users to take photos with filters but neither of them has seemed to raise any money. None of the other similar apps have taken off the way Instagram has. At one point it seemed like a new app known as Sequoia-backed Color, which organizes photos by event and location, was going to give Instagram a run for its money when it raised $41 million in March of 2011, but the app didn't take off the way investors had hoped.
Instagram has come a long way since February 2011 when it raised $7 million for a reported $25 million valuation, led by Benchmark Capital. A year later, they are on the verge of being valued at half a billion.