Why Instagram Can Become The Mobile Social Hub

Trey Ratcliff, creator of 100 Cameras and I
Trey Ratcliff, creator of 100 Cameras and I

Of all the apps on my iPhone, the ones that get most attention for me involve photos — from the built-in Camera app to Camera+ to photo filter apps such as Noir, ColorBlast and Hipstamatic. But it is photo-sharing network, Instagram that has become the center of my “photo” universe.

All photos taken and modified on my iPhone almost always end up on Instagram, where I share them with others. Nevertheless, it is not an easy process. I take photos, process them, save them and then have to import them into the Instagram app. I have often wondered why we couldn’t just simply export to Instagram or export from Instagram into other apps.

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Today, half of that wish came true, when Trey Ratcliff, a computer programmer turned photographer emailed to let me know that his 100 Cameras in 1 iPhone/iPad photo app can now export photos manipulated by his app directly to Instagram. 100 Cameras and 1 is a photo filter software that allows you to add more effects to your photos.

This makes 100 Cameras in 1 the first app ever to be integrated with Instagram. It already allows you to share photos via email, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug, and DropBox, as I mentioned in my review of the app from earlier this year.

From Instagram’s perspective, this is a good move. The company had announced an API in February and since then a raft of new apps have come up to capitalize on it. While filters might have jumpstarted Instagram, the company which already has over 4 million subscribers, has to focus on its core value proposition — community and the social interactions around unique visual experiences.

I hope Instagram allows more apps to export directly to its network. By opening itself up to other apps and services, it has the potential to slowly become the hub of our mobile photo experiences. And in the end, that’s is what would make Instagram so much more valuable and in the process become the Flickr of mobile photos.

Here is a video interview with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.