Will Instagram eventually replace Flickr?

It’s growing faster than Flickr, but is the fact that it’s only available for iPhone holding it back?

I have a small confession. I’m a bit of a wannabe photographer. My latest platform of choice is Instagram. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a photo-creating and sharing iPhone app that is taking the early adopter circuit by storm.

Instagram has only been around for about nine months, but already has more than five million users and 150 million photos. In comparison, it took Flickr two years to reach the 100 million photo milestone.

Still hesitant? Here are five more reasons why Instagram may replace Flickr in the near future.

1. It embraces the “mobile first” mindset.

With more than one-third of the U.S. population actively using smartphones, and even more using Internet-connected devices such as iPod touches and iPads, mobile Internet usage has skyrocketed. Photo viewing and commenting is one of the most popular activities on social media sites like Facebook. Instagram capitalizes on social photography on the go and takes it to the next level.

2. It’s social sharing made easy.

Social sharing could not be any simpler on Instagram. In just a few clicks you can edit your photo, place a filter on it, and send it to your friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

3. It’s a social photography network.

If Twitter and Flickr had a baby, it would be Instagram. It combines the photo experience of Flickr with the real-time conversational atmosphere of Twitter.

With a real-time stream, a “like” feature and comments, Instagram does a great job of feeling like a social network and not just another photo sharing application.

4. It levels the playing field for amateur photographers.

As a wannabe photographer, I’m not trained and I don’t have the tools to shoot award-winning, breathtaking photos. Professional photographers have several cameras, hundreds of dollars of lens and lighting equipment, and years of experience to take the perfect photo. All I have is an iPhone and an eye for detail. Instagram allows me to frame images in just the right way, and then put filters on them to make the images stand out.

5. It’s just fun.

I admit that this is a bit fluffy, but there’s no denying that Instagram can be addicting and a lot of fun. There’s a competitive side to it. You want to provide the best photos possible for your friends and followers. You may want to take it a step further and get broader recognition by the Instagram community.

The only real limitation for Instagram is that it is only available on the iPhone. If it develops apps for other platforms, it could take off at an even faster pace.

What do you think? Will Instagram eventually replace Flickr?

Jessica Malnik is a PR/marketing coordinator, social media specialist and videographer. She writes on her personal blog and guest posted on Communications Conversations, where a version of this article originally ran.

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