IPhone hit Instagram heads to Android smartphones

Posted at 03/13/2012 10:50 AM | Updated as of 03/16/2012 11:37 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, California - The makers of an Instagram photo-sharing application wildly popular on Apple gadgets are tailoring a version for smartphones powered by Android software.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom provided a glimpse of the Android "app" to technology trend-setters at a South By Southwest Interactive conference that wraps up on Tuesday in the Texas capitol of Austin.

The application tuned to Apple's iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices has been downloaded more than 27 million times since the first version of Instagram was released in late 2010 by the San Francisco startup, according to Systrom.

The free mini-program lets people give classic looks to square photos using "filters" and then share them at Twitter, Facebook or other social networks.

Apple crowned Instagram its app-of-the-year for 2011.

A version of Instagram for Android would bolster the positions of smartphones and tablets powered by Google-backed operating software as they compete with Apple in the hot mobile market.

It would also let the Mountain View, California-based Internet titan weave Instagram photo-sharing into its Google+ social network.

Instagram's roster of backers includes Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. The startup was reportedly raising $40 million in a new round of funding that gives the young firm an estimated value of a half-billion dollars.

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