updated 08:50 am EDT, Wed April 4, 2012
Instagram gets rapid adoption with Android switch
The launch of Instagram for Android triggered rapid adoption closer to iOS levels, both its stats and Google confirmed less than a day later. The app's listing (Google Play) already showed between one million to five million downloads in under 24 hours. With the iOS user base at 30 million, the initial tally saw Android adding another 3.3 percent or more in a day's time.
Company chief Kevin Systrom had commented late Tuesday to the New York Times that, at its peak, the Android launch had been triggering 2,000 sign-ups a minute, or about three million a day. It's not known whether those were purely Android users or if it included iOS users as well.
For Android, the Instagram release has signaled both a closing of a gap in app quality as well as an underscoring of ongoing problems. Despite growing Android share, most mobile app developers still target iOS either first or as the main platform. Ease of development and a greater willingness to support paid apps have been considered important factors behind iOS' app success, but a better chance of apps being discovered has been most relevant and has shown Instagram's problem: app search results for much of the first day of Android availability saw the legitimate app buried underneath clones.
The Android version is currently missing a few features, such as Flickr uploading and tilt-shift filters, and is known to have compatibility problems with some phones' cameras. Unlike on iOS, Instagram also won't run properly on tablets.