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The logo for Google's Android mobile software, run through an Instagram filter (Google, Instagram)
The logo for Google's Android mobile software, run through an Instagram filter (Google, Instagram)

Instagram confirms plans for Android app Add to ...

Soon you won’t have to own an Apple iPhone or iPad to be a member of the Instagram app’s growing photo-sharing community.

“We have two people working on Android now,” Instagram co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom confirmed at the LeWeb conference in Paris. He didn't say when the work would be done. “I'm excited to be able to see our numbers today nearly double.”

Google’s Android mobile software now runs on more than 50 per cent of the world’s smartphones, according to recent analyst reports.

As TheStreet.com reported in November – when the company only had six employees (they are hiring now), and 11-million users (reports are it’s up to 14 million now) – Mr. Systrom has his sights set higher than just being a cute photo app beloved by hipsters for its 1970s-evoking colour filters.

“We're at 1 per cent of where we want to be,” he said. “Talk to me again when we have 100 million users ... and even then I'm not sure if we will have made it. When you think about Facebook and their 800 million active users, there are huge opportunities in the world to do something big. We want to do that.”

According to CNET, which first reported the story, Mr. Systrom believes the camera quality of the iPhone 4 is what propelled his company’s growth.

“The screen and the camera on the iPhone 4 really was a turning point. It was really disruptive,” Mr. Systrom said. “Somebody had to come along and take advantage of that disruption.”

The company raised $7-million in February in its first round of funding from investors including Benchmark Capital, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo.

Instagram is free and has no plans to start charging users, though it's toying with the idea of premium services for brands, and there are rumours it is exploring adding video to the service. Charging 99 cents for filters, as other photo sharing apps have done, likely won't help the company achieve the scale it's looking for, Mr. Systrom said.

“We want to see Google-style revenue,” he said. “I think the way to get there is to increase the network as fast as possible particularly because given how much competition there is these days.”

With files from TheStreet.com and CNET.

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