The new Facebook? Instagram rises as social media hub, boasting new features and easy use

by Emily Isola
Every second, 58 photos are uploaded and a new user is gained. The popular app known as Instagram is quickly evolving into a social- media powerhouse.
The app has grown so popular that posting pictures on Facebook is becoming a thing of the past.“I put my pictures on Instagram and I talk to my friends on Instamessage. I don’t even need  a Facebook anymore” said freshman Bianca DeMaria.


Instagram got its name from the idea that photos taken by users can be filtered, posted, and shared with millions of people around the globe in an “instant.”
Instagram made its debut in October of 2010 as “a free photo-sharing program and social network,” and by December of 2010, the app had one million registered users. As of Sept. 30, 2012, it has 100 million users. Its growing population forces it to adapt to the increasing demands of Instagrammers, including the ability to make comments private.
One way that Instagram keeps up with these demands is by allowing its users to communicate through a new feature called Instamessage. Just like chatting on Facebook, Instamessage users can now connect with friends and celebrities through a private messaging system. Users can register on Instamessage by logging in to their Instagram account and then automatically connect to all of their followers and accounts.
Also, Instamessage allows users to browse profiles and gain more followers for themselves. The private conversation feature allows communications not connected to photos.
Another new social-media feature is hashtags (#), which makes finding  photos and other “Instagramers” easier. Hashtags can be linked to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare, Flickr and Posterous, so that Instagram photos can pass through multiple social-media sites.
Facebook became so threatened by the growing popularity of Instagram thatin April the two companies struck a deal. Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. The two companies are now working together to create the best possible experience for sharing photos via mobile upload.
Although Facebook has literally taken over Instagram finacially, both users and industry watchers wonder if Instagram is actually taking over Facebook. A spot survey reported by revealed that many people aged 17 to 28 use Instagram for daily social communication and keep their Facebook pages only as an aggregate of their social connections.
Instagram began as a place to share artistic images, but with its new social-media features, the app once made for aspiring artistic photographers is rapidly turning into a social-media hub. Its connection to Facebook will only enhance its status.
In fact, Facebook competitors are taking notice of the rise of photo-sharing apps in general. According to, Google acquired Snapseed, an app that emphasizes photo editing and sharing.