With the Android-based Instagram app nearing completion, the developers of the photo-capturing app have opened a sign-up page for beta users to get in line for early access to its official release.
Unfortunately, there is still no hard date set for the launch, and signing up doesn’t offer much more information to satiate diehard fans. We were greeted with the simple message, “Thanks for signing up! We’ll be in touch soon!” Instagram´s blog post unfortunately doesn’t offer further insight, and merely mentions in passing that Instagram has made a sign-up page available.
The only glimpse that SXSW attendees have gotten of the app was from a mere teaser, when co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom waved the app momentarily on stage. Despite having surpassed a user base of 27 million users in a matter of a year and half since its launch, Systrom is ready to take the social photo app to the next level. During an interview with Sarah Lacy at Ignition West, Systrom revealed that 27 million users isn’t quite the number Instagram is looking for. “It’s nowhere near the scale you need to make a massively large business,” he stated. Rather Systrom is looking for a user base of “270 million.” With an adoption rate of a million users per week, and its Android app on the verge of launch, it’s on its way.
How Instagram plans on making money has always been its chip on the shoulder, but it’s evident that monetization is at the forefront of the company’s upcoming strategy. With major brands utilizing Instagram as a medium for showcasing their products, there’s an opportunity for the integration of display advertising. Systrom hasn´t delved into details, but did reveal a possible plan of to create a tool specifically for brands. “What are the tools that allow advertisers to use our platform differently than say a user? Right now if an advertiser wants to put something on, like if Burberry wants to post a photo, they either need to take it with a single iPhone or send it to themselves and crop it out of their library,” Systrom said. “It’s such a terrible experience that it’s almost amazing that people are doing it.” What this tool looks like — perhaps a streamlined interface and some analytics — is up for debate and educated guesses.
Until then, we’ll mull over the Android Instagram app. According to Business Insider, Systrom has been using it exclusively for the last six weeks, and hopes that the Droid app’s release on Google Play will come within a matter of a couple of weeks.
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