Cool Tools: The Instagram Mobile Photo App

As someone who loves playing around with photo apps on the iPhone (s aapl), I am getting excited about a brand new offering called Instagram, which is likely to launch later this month. ?The app is in limited preview right now.

The team behind Instagram is the same team that was developing Burbn, an HTML5-based check-in service ala Foursquare. Burbn was started by ?Kevin Systrom (formerly with Nextstop) and raised $500,000 in funding from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz earlier this year. It never really launched. “Burbn will still be around while we see Instagram through,” Systrom wrote in an email to me.

However, the company is right to focus on Instagram, which has potential  — mostly because all of us love sharing pictures and congregating around visuals. The continued popularity of Flickr, the skyrocketing usage of Facebook Photos and immense interest in Daily Booth are ample indication that, despite so many options, there is an opportunity for yet-another-photo-sharing service — especially one that is designed from the ground up from the perspective of a mobile user. I feel many of today’s photo sharing services are desktop services re-cast for the mobile. Touch-based smartphones need a unique and more immersive, two-way service. Is Instagram the answer? We shall find out later this month.

?On its website, the Instagram folks describe the app as a “fun & quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo, then choose a filter to transform the look and feel of the shot into a memory to keep around forever.” From what I can gather, it is like Hipstamatic or Camera Bag with built-in social sharing and location features. Given that I totally love those two apps, I am actually looking forward to trying out Instagram.

You can get the latest updates on this app via its twitter account.

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