Instagram lets you take photos and videos with your Android device, apply a few special effects and share them with family friends on its own social network - or via other social networks.
What can you do with Instagram?
You take your pictures, add a customized filter, and post it to Instagram’s community or through Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare or Tumblr. Through the Instagram app, you can give “likes” and give or receive comments on your pictures.
Instagram has a Facebook-style feed, where you can view all the photos you upload, the people you follow, and even track specific places and hashtags to have a real-time look at what is going on. If this isn't enough to find what you want, you can also search photos by username, name, hashtag, or location.
The best thing about Instagram are the filters included in the program. There are 27 to choose from (recently added are Lark, Reyes and Juno) with different color, brightness and lighting effects. If chosen wisely, you can obtain really awesome results. Each of these filters can now be customized using the photo editor (see What's New) which is incredibly intuitive.
Instagram also includes support for videos, allowing you to capture up-to 15 seconds of footage to share via the Instagram network. As with photos, you can choose from a range of effects to apply to your videos to get them looking great.
Instagram includes a photo and video messaging feature called Instagram Direct. It allows you to capture images and video then share them with Instagram friends. You can send messages via Instagram Direct to up-to 15 of your contacts at once. There is also an incredibly intuitive photo editor. It allows you to refine photos by adjusting aspects such as the sharpness, warmth, and brightness. You can also adjust the strength of the filters. For example, to change the 1977 filter, simply double-tap on it which will bring up a panel to adjust the photos.
The service is very easy to use, and if you have many friends on Instagram it could be a more practical alternative to sending multimedia messages via other services like WhatsApp or Snapchat.
Instagram has a People tab in Explore so you can find interesting people to follow, and curated collections of pictures selected by Instagram. You can also edit captions and change your locations, as well as search faster with predictive searches.
Is Instagram complicated?
The Instagram app is very easy to navigate. There are icons at the bottom of the interface which represent the different features of Instagram: the photo feed, photo/user search, photo capture, news feed (recent activity on the network from you and those you follow), and profile settings. When viewing pictures on your profile you can choose to display as a list or as a series of tiles for easy navigation.
The presentation of the photos themselves in the photo feed is very clear, and likes and comments are shown underneath each picture. You can like or comment on a photo with a single click of an icon. However, it's a shame you can't open images full screen (i.e. you can only ever see them within the feed).
Applying filters and retouching your photos in Instagram is very simple. You can snap an image through the app or choose one from your phone then view live previews of what each effect will look like.
Get yourself on Instagram
The Instagram app makes it easy to apply fun effects to your photos and share them with your friends. Although it requires you to sign-up to share images, the possibilities of what you can do with your pictures are vast.