Instagram launched in October 2010. Monday past (14 May 2012) marked my first year with the app! That makes me a Grandad in Instagram years surely? User 3,911,665 to be exact… and I was reminded of this that I wrote 5 or 6 weeks into using it last June…
What I’m doing here is list a bunch of the apps and websites that have rounded out the Instagram experience over the last year. I think what I love most about the Instagram is that, having had a camera since I was about 7 years old I have always taken a combination of snaps (family), arty stuff (college) and then a whole bunch of images in-between that most people would have no interest in (why are you taking a picture of that?)… but I would end up hoarding. Instagram has given me an outlet for these pictures – a worldwide community of people who are doing something very similar to share them with.

The whole Instagram ‘start-up’ story is also very inspiring in terms of taking an idea to completion and beyond. Part of why I wrote about Instagram last year was to share this: (a now well documented story now but if you’re new and catching up then  it’s a good read straight from the horses mouth). Who knew that within a year of that there would be ten times the users and it’d be worth 1Billion to Facebook!?
When Facebook bought Instagram many users closed their accounts on ‘principal’! That’s just daft. So far Facebook has no impact on the service. That might change, but til then..!
My response to the buy-out visualised below and written about here: Before – After

Instagram also inspired one of my social media ‘game based’ ideas that I’ve tried out a couple of times called Beginning/Middle/Endyou can read about it here. Essentially players share a story in three acts, each represented by a single image via Instagram. Submissions ranged from documentary to traditional storytelling and down right abstract… It needs some work but there is something there I think…

So, to the other apps that I’ve stumbled across over the past year…
I always feel a bit of an Instagram fraud because I use iPad (I don’t have an iPhone) so images are not always as spontaneous as I would like. However, what I ‘do’ love about the iPad is it’s capacity for photo editing (I can edit so much quicker than can on my MacBookPro) and partly that’s down to a great little app called Snapseed. Well worth the purchase and reviewed by me here.
I’m going to cover two apps in one here – TinyPlanets is a genius idea of taking a regular pic and wrapping it into what appears to be a, er… Tiny Planet! I need say no more, just download and give it a go. Below is a compilation of three of my TinyPlanets brought together using Nostalgio, a frame app that allows you to bring together multiple images from your pic library using one of twenty templates.

If you like to keep up-to-date with what’s going on with you Instagram network online via a web browser then Statigram is perfect, not to mention the statistics, which can get a bit anal, but the fun thing is how they visualise the stats (see the top image in this post) and email you Instagram ready images of them to share… so you get to see and share who you’ve been liking the most via Instagram itself.
If you like playing with the Mac Photobooth (Android equivalents also available) app on then you’ll probably get some milage out of FaceGoo HD. Take a pic of your nearest and dearest and then disfigure them in the most horrifying of ways by pinching and dragging the the screen. Lovely.
Day one of my Instagram year two brought with it my invitation from Instacanvas. This is the company that turns your Instagram pics into wall hangings or anything else that’ll absorb ink! My gallery opens today and for a small fortune you can buy my lo-resolution art…
I’m still not sure about this one. I know the iPhone has a better camera than the iPad but the images that go to Instagram are compressed in size… are they really that good a quality to print at 500mm square?
There are of course countless other apps that you can use from grungy filters (Pixlromatic), Cartoony effects (ToonPaint) to Fisheye lenses and HDR. If you use Flickr then there is even a piece of software (Dopiaza) to gather your Instagram pics into a folder which I then use to feed into my blog. So, given that you’ve got this far either share you favourites with me or go and get into this glorious whorl of pictures and share your results. A few weeks ago I would have argued that Instagram alone would justify the purchase of an iPad or iPhone, but then they put it on Android too..!
It’s not all cats, dogs and memes… I follow Mountain bikers in spain, someone who lives vary near to the foot of Mount Fuji, I get the best views from some of the worlds finest cities and often share the same sunset as it circumvents the globe. Some of my own Instagram pictures are my best pictures. They are the simple things that ordinarily I might have missed or simply forgotten in their ‘ordinariness’ – I love searching back through those images… I urge you to try it out and some of these other apps, then come follow me and ‘like’ all my pics! 😉

UPDATE: In the interest of balance here’s how to spot an Instagram Junkie!

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