James Cooper is a strategist on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

Follow @jamescooper

I’m at a loss for words to describe how happy I am to finally have the Instagram app for Android. For months, I’ve listened to my iPhone-toting colleagues rave about Instagram. All this time, I have felt alienated while eking out a meagre digital photo existence on my Samsumg Galaxy SII.

No more. Now I have the power of Instagram in my hand.

Instagram app for Android on screen of Samsung Galaxy SII in palm of hand

Instagram in my hand (Photo: Karly Gaffney)

The app is one of the most anticipated releases in Android history. If you use your Android phone as a camera, you should definitely take it for a spin.

After using the app for a couple of days, I must admit that, as Alexia Tsotsis puts it in her TechCrunch post, “the app is pretty simple, and that’s what makes it amazing.”

To summarize my current knowledge of photography:

  1. I know which way to point the camera
  2. I know that lighting matters
  3. I know that cameras should not be used after the first hour of any cocktail party

That said, I think this app has the potential to turn me (and many other Android users) into a hobbyist photographer extraordinaire.

What does Android mean for Instagram?

After only 18 months on the market, Instagram has surpassed 30 million registered users. With Android at 500 million activations and accounting for 50 percent of smartphone market share in the US, the mobile OS has huge implications for Instagram.

As Tsotsis points out, “Facebook took about four years to reach its first 100 million; The idea of Instagram becoming the world’s first formidable, mobile-only social network is extremely compelling.”

What does Instagram mean for brands?

Lindsay Stanford made a case for Instagram as a content machine for brands in a previous SMG blog post. In her post, she provides some great examples of how brands and bands have used Instagram to drive engagement with friends, fans and followers.

Now that Instagram is available on both Android and iOS, I think that marketers, if they’re not doing so already, should put some serious thought into how they might work Instagram into their strategies.

Here’s one of my first Instagrams, which was taken in SMG’s back alley:

Street art graffiti of woman's head on octopus body on brick wall in alley

Armoured Soul street art in SMG's back alley (Photo: James Cooper)

Here’s my Instagram of SMG’s nameplate in our Toronto office:

Social Media Group nameplate with reflection of office in glass

SMG's nameplate with reflection of office in glass (Photo: James Cooper)

Download the app for yourself — it works with Android version 2.2 and higher and it’s free.

What do you think of Instagram for Android?

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