Instagram raises $7M, reveals its iPhone app is only the beginning

Instagram - Fast, beautiful photo sharing for your iPhoneInstagram has landed itself a position in the hot new startups category. The photo filter and sharing app just pocketed $7 million in a round of fundraising, and has been steadily increasing its registered users, which are exceeding 1.5 million. What is Instagram going to do next? That’s easy: Build a team of “world-class” engineers.

Setting the bar high is commendable and all, but why exactly does an app need engineers of this caliber? According to TechCrunch, to extend its platform reach (read: Android and tablet users, it’s coming your way). In an interview, co-founder Kevin Systrom all but revealed that Instagram will eventually become more than just an app. “Instagram has an underlying ambition to change the way we see the world – to connect people from all over the world and enable people to tell their story through a rich visual dialogue. Our new capital will allow us to scale to the opportunity at hand across platforms both on mobile and the Web.”

Even still, it seems suspect all the attention an iPhone app is getting (it hasn’t been released for Android devices yet, but that could be coming at this year’s SXSW). There’s a lot of money and some big names tied to Instagram now (including former Facebook CTO and current Quora exec Adam D’Angelo, who knows a thing or two about investment-worthy startups).

paperclipsIt’s important to acknowledge how much competition Instagram faces. Photo and filter apps, especially those with built-in social networks and Facebook integration, are a dime a dozen. Its most notable rival is easily Hipstamatic. While Hipstamatic easily has a more engaging UI that camera geeks love for its ode to retro models and attention to lens, flash, and filter detail, it isolates a wider audience for a few reasons: It isn’t free, it has too many in-app purchases, and it doesn’t have a method for organizing and connecting its users.

The idea of extending the way Instagram connects people through their pre-packaged filtered photos to a richer Web experience sounds a lot like Flickr, or a Tumblr that is exclusively built around shared images and user location. But, with the right team (which is apparently where that $7 million is going), it’s an experiment we’d definitely want to watch.

Product Review

Galaxy Watch Active is the right size, no matter how big or small your wrist is

Launched among a massive array of other new products, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active could easily have been missed at Galaxy Unpacked 2019 -- which would be unfortunate. This is a sensibly designed, correctly sized smartwatch suitable for…

The Panasonic FZ1000 gets a much-needed update alongside the smaller ZS80 zoom

Panasonic's 2014 superzoom camera with a larger sensor has finally seen an update. The new Panasonic FZ1000 II has a sensor that's better for low light, more physical controls, and new 4K Photo Mode features.

The best place to print photos online in 2019

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.
Social Media

Instagram to make giving easier with a Stories donation sticker for fundraisers

Instagram is preparing to launch a donation feature within Stories that would allow users to raise cash for a range of nonprofit charities. The company confirmed it's aiming to launch the donation sticker later this year.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S9: How much better is Samsung’s new flagship?

You'd naturally expect the Samsung Galaxy S10 to be better than last year's S9, but just how do the two phones differ? We break down the specs and compare Samsung's flagships in various categories to pick a winner.

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e in the U.K.

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e have all been officially announced and can be pre-ordered right now, with deliveries expected on March 8. If you're in the U.K., this is where you need to go to buy one.

Protect and style your Samsung Galaxy S10 with the best cases and covers

If you've splashed the cash for a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S10, then you'll want to take steps to protect your investment. With a metal frame and glass curves, the S10 needs some cover. Check out the best Samsung Galaxy S10 cases.

You can now pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, or S10e

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the most-anticipated phones of the year, offering a new chipset, beautiful display, and more. Now that the phone has been announced you might be wondering where you can get it for yourself.

Sony partnership with Light aims to take smartphone photography to new heights

Smartphone photography is in its ascendancy, and a new partnership between Light and Sony hopes to lift it to new heights through the development of multi-image sensor solutions for smartphones. We spoke to Light to find out more.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.