Instagram Goes Mainstream—Now Available for Android

April 4, 2012 by Sandra Burciaga

What was once exclusive only to iPhone users, almost becoming a mobile VIP party—Instagram has now opened its doors to Android users and the iPhone community is not happy about it. From elitists professional skaters, photographers and musicians—to lowbrow media and of course your immature crowd that just loves to hate and jump on any bandwagon, iPhone users have made it clear that these Android kids need to “kick rocks and scram.”

Similar to when one of your favorite underground musicians or artists becomes popular in mainstream culture, baring the term of “selling out”—Instagram has had almost the same effect once they opened the flood gates to Android users on Tuesday, April 4 via Google Play, formerly known as the Android Market. As we cited in a prior article, “Building a Following on Instagram – Why and How,” we stated: “Instagram is currently working on its Android app, and recent rumors have shared that there is a Windows Phone 7 version underway.” This Android release shouldn’t be any surprise. It was warranted and we all knew it was eventually going to happen. So, why all the hate?

Yesterday, both hashtags, “Instagram” and “Android” were trending via Twitter and Instagram. Although many were just poking fun and were actually excited about friends joining their network and the possibility of new followers, there was a large majority of disappointed users.

One Instagram user, @BigSwig, commented on his own photo: “There was a sense of community. Like it was ours. Like when your favorite underground band makes it big and gets popular. A part of you resents that because you feel it’s yours.”

Even the very popular skateboarding Website and Internet show, Epicly Later’d expressed their sentiment, “Android users, you are not welcome here; go home!”


Meanwhile, popular recording artists such as Rye Rye, welcomed the new demographic of users in a playful way. She posted the following update on her Facebook: “Instagram went from a gated community to section 8 housing all in one day lmmfao smh ...But I’m team both so :) more followers. Follow me …”

With Apple’s engaging "Get a Mac" advertising campaign, which featured the hip actor and music enthusiast, Justin Long, up against a nerdy and boring business man, John Hodgman, who represented the PC—Apple users were quickly portrayed as creative and progressive “cool kids.” This theme definitely carried over with Instagram since for the past two years it was an iPhone-only-party.

Regardless, whether you like it or not, Instagram is and will always be open to Android users and even more (Windows) in the future. According to PC Magazine, Android users downloaded more than 1 million copies of the popular photo-sharing app in less than 24 hours.

In hindsight, this flux of new users is a positive step for everyone. If you’re looking to promote your Instagram account, this is a great opportunity to acquire new followers. Not to mention, if you’re an existing iPhone user, don’t be too bummed. You already have a two-year lead and are familiar with the best photo enhancing apps, ways to market yourself, weekly photo hashtags (i.e., #FlashBackFriday) and more. So don’t be too disappointed iPhone elite, these new kids on the block have to battle a tight learning curve. It’s like switching from a PC to a Mac. But in the meantime, play nice, you may end up benefiting from this change.

In the words of the late and great, Steve Jobs, “Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.” How do you feel about Android on Instagram? How do you think it’s going to affect the future of Instagram? Let us know your thoughts via Twitter or our Facebook page.

 ~ Written by Sandra Burciaga - Digital Marketing Manager at Pomegranate 


PC Magazine 


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