What Is Instagram?

Launched in 2010, Instagram is an online photo sharing service that has taken the world by storm. By its third month of existence, it had gained its first million registered users. Today, it boasts millions of users with hundreds of millions of photos uploaded. The company was purchased by Facebook for around a billion dollars in cash and stock in 2012.

But there are plenty of other photo sharing services online, many of which existed long before Instagram. What makes it different? There are a few things:

* Filters – Instagram makes it easy for users to manipulate their photos by using filters. Each filter employs preset adjustments to color, tint and brightness to give the picture a unique and professional look.

* Portability – The Instagram app is available for free for iPhones and Android devices. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can take a picture, choose a filter, add a caption if you like and instantly post it to your Instagram account.

* Social features – Instagram is as much about social networking as it is about photo sharing. Users can follow one another’s photo streams, allowing their photos to show up in their feeds as they are posted. They can “like” and comment on photos as well. Users can also easily share their Instagram photos on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

* Photo Maps – Instagram users can choose to display their photos on a Photo Map, which organizes the pictures according to where they were taken. Photos can be added to the map when they are uploaded or anytime thereafter. You can also remove photos from your map or turn off photo mapping altogether at any time.

The popularity of Instagram has not only made it a star on the social networking scene, it has also made it a useful tool for businesses. Marketers can share photos of products, services and events with their followers, enticing them to interact with and learn more about their businesses. They can also set images to post to their other social media accounts, giving them an easy way to add content and additional opportunities to engage their audience.

Instagram’s quick growth and ease of use have made it a must-have app for smartphone users, and you don’t have to be an expert photographer to get the most out of it. Just jump in and give it a try – you’ll be adding filters, tagging and sharing your photos like a pro in no time at all!

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