Instagram for Android coming soon

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Earlier this week, at the SXSW conference, in Texas, the first Android version of the popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, made its first appearance.

The long-awaited Android version of the hit iOS app is said to be nearing completion and will soon come out of beta testing and be made publicly available.

Instagram is a mobile application that allows users to capture images, apply a range of filters and post it for others to see, comment on and share. The app has built a social network around photo sharing through features such as user profiles and a news feed.

Speaking at the SXSW conference, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said the app has reached 27 million registered users (compared to the reported 15 million users in December 2011), and is seeing user engagement levels comparable to those of Facebook. According to Systrom, Instagram's rapid growth is widely attributed to the launch of the iPhone 4S and its eight-megapixel camera.

Systrom briefly showed the Android version of Instagram running on a Galaxy Nexus while on stage at the conference, but said the app was not quite ready for a full demo or walkthrough. However, TechCrunch quotes Systrom as saying: “In some ways, it's better than our iOS app. It's crazy.”

Instagram was launched in 2010, and is yet to establish a profitable business model. The app as yet does not feature any advertising or in-app purchasing options.

According to reports, the team behind Instagram chose to focus on refining the app on a single platform instead of working on more than one version of the app at once.

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