Instagram – Social Media Through Photos

Total Score:  27.5

Instagram is an enormously popular app.  It has over 200 million users.  I’m a little late to the party here, but decided I would be remiss if I didn’t review it as well.  I’m not of the “take a picture of my buddies at a party” generation, but I do think Instagram offers a lot of potential for the casual user.  You could create an account account for just your family or share your hobby with others (more on this below). 


Price Rating = 5     Free.  That is probably why it has so many faithful users.

Ease of Use Rating = 4     I would not say the icons are intuitive, but they are not hard to learn.

Readability Rating = 4     The fonts are a good size.  They are not large, but are readable.

Will You Use It Rating = 5     Sharing photos is a way to connect with friends and family.  Follow people with your interests or create groups of your own.

Downsides Rating = 0     I could not find anything that detracted from the app.  It is not currently optimized for the iPad, but the photos still look very good.

Consumer Review Rating = 4.5     It has a million users who either wrote a review or gave it a rating.  I think we can safely say this has been tested and customer approved.

Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5     You have a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  You have heard about Instagram and want to try it – now is the time.

How does it work? 

  1. The app has been installed on my phone (unused) for a while, but I am sure when you first open it up you need to set up a profile.  It asks for your name and a user name, a bio (if you wish) and then asks for an email address.  You can add your gender and birthday – but you do not have to.
  2. There are five icons at the bottom of the screen.  The first is your HOME screen.  It works, and looks a lot like Twitter.  It is a stream of photos you have shared, and the people you follow have shared.
  3. You can search by topics using the icon that looks like a COMPASS.  You can look for users online by typing in a name.  Or, you can type a # and a topic.  The # sign is called a hash tag.  So, if you wanted to see pictures of trains, you would type #trains. You can only follow someone (have his or her photos appear in your feed) through the users tab.   One you have reviewed the photos you found under a hash tag (#) you can type that person’s name in and follow them.
  4. The center icon is the CAMERA icon.  While you are out and about, you can take a photo through Instagram and post it to your Twitter account (or other social media sites).   You can also apply filters to change the look of your photo.
  5. The HEART icon shows you pictures liked by people you are following – or you can like a picture when you see it.
  6. The BUSINESS CARD icon (far right) has your profile information.  From there you can adjust your settings.
  7. I have not used this feature yet, but after you take a picture, you can allow the location to be captured and then you can see your photos in a map view.  It is a very cool feature, but for some, could evoke privacy concerns.

I have just scratched the surface of how this app can be used.  I am a neophyte and enjoying the experience.  I think you will enjoy the social aspect of this app along with the ability to share and explore photos of people with interests similar to yours.
Devices:  This app can be used on either the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.  It requires iOS 4.3 or later.  App developed by Burbn, Inc.    I do not often review apps with this warning, but this app is rated for children 12+ for infrequent/mild sexual content or nudity, crude humor, suggestive themes and alcohol, tobacco or drug use references.



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