Instagram was finally…FINALLY…launched on Android on Tuesday, which was probably as much a relief for co-founder Kevin Systrom as it was the hundreds of millions of users on Google’s mobile operating system. I can’t imagine how tired he must’ve gotten answering the same question over and over and over…
With thirty million existing users on its iPhone app, Instagram was hardly desperate for more users. But with a supposed $500m valuation hanging over its head (yup, you heard me…), then the one million downloads it secured in the immediate aftermath of its Android launch certainly won’t hurt. And if it can maintain this steady growth in the weeks and months that follow, well, it at least will have the basis to start thinking about building a profitable business from the app.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
The Next Web’s Matthew Panzarino gave a pretty good side-by-side comparison of the two official Instagram apps, and it’s well worth a read if you’re looking for the lowdown on its latest incarnation on Android. But all this buzz around Instagram over the past year or so has created a plethora of Instagram-related apps and competitors.
We’ve previously covered Web-based alternatives to Instagram, looked at a neat screensaver for Instagram, examined 10 early adopter brands that are using the app, uncovered 5 complementary Instagram apps and a whole host of other Insta-[enter name here] apps. We even found a pretty decent Android alternative prior to this week’s official roll-out.
Instagram: The need for a Web interface
Whilst Instagram is chewing its way into the mobile space, it doesn’t yet have an official interface for your desktop. But there are other options.
Last May we brought you Carousel, which we said was the most beautiful Instagram experience for your Mac. Unlike other ‘alternatives’ we’ve previously covered, Carousel offered an elegant Instagram-specific experience, that lets you do all that the iPhone app does and more. But what about Instagram for Windows users? Well, that’s where Instagrille comes in.
Instagrille is a Windows desktop app from Pokki, a platform that’s setting out to help developers create beautiful, connected apps based on standard Web languages such as HTML5.
Pokki is the product of a San Diego-based startup SweetLabs, which is backed by Google and Intel. There are more than 150 apps in the Pokki store today, and Instagrille has been receiving some good feedback since it launched late last year.
Instagrille was developed as part of the SweetLabs Pokki app challenge, securing third place and scooping a $7,000 prize in the process.
When you download the app and launch it, you’ll be asked to connect with your Instagram account, and the little Instagrille icon (which looks pretty familiar…) sits in your taskbar at the bottom.
The app essentially lets you do everything your Instagram account does, except upload photos from your desktop.
When you first log-in, you’ll see all the usual icons you’re familiar with, such as ‘Popular’, which gives you the option of viewing in a grid format (below) or list:
It also features feeds, profile views, and supports comments and ‘likes’ with real-time notifications. You can also follow/unfollow other Instagram users through this little third-party Web app:
My first impressions here was that it was a really nice, elegant and well-designed desktop app. And I’m not sure whether Instagram would do a much better job itself of creating such a simple, streamlined experience for the desktop.
Indeed, if Instagram keeps it together, continues its growth and finally figures out a revenue model, well, it’s not too far-fetched to think in terms of acquisition here. Much in the same way as Twitter acquired third-party client TweetDeck as it sought to cement its place as a money-making enterprise.
If nothing else, Instagrille helps to highlight the lack of a desktop interface for Instagram, and whilst there’s no indication of one coming any time soon from Systrom and Co., this one from SweetLabs will do just nicely for the time-being.
Instagrille is currently compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, with a version for Mac apparently coming soon.
➤ Instagrille [Windows]