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Instagram for Android 'Better Than Our iPhone App,' Says Creator

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The ubiquity of smartphones may have rendered point-and-shoot cameras an antiquated nuisance, but there's no shortage of apps that replicate photos from a bygone era. As companies like Kodak and Polaroid file for bankruptcy, apps like Instagram for the iPhone (AAPL) and Retro Camera for Android (GOOG) have filled the sepia-toned void that defunct camera outfits have left behind. Clogging Twitter feeds and Facebook albums, the vintage filters have proven so popular, that Instagram has reached 27 million registered users -- thanks to the inclusion of photo sharing via social media.

But since the app's launch 16 months ago, Android users have had to cope with its iPhone exclusivity and make do with apps that mimicked its features. However, this weekend at SXSW, Instagram creators Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger promised the coveted app will making its grand debut on Android "really soon." Systrom whetted appetites further by flashing his Galaxy Nexus and briefly running an Instagram prototype.

"It's one of the most amazing Android apps you'll ever see," Systrom said in an interview with TechCrunch. "In some ways, it's better than our iPhone app."

A very bold statement, especially for an iOS app with such a huge user base.

"We have a visual platform and advertisers like visual mediums. They like TV and magazines, but attention is moving online and they want to switch," Systrom continued. "I do believe that Instagram has put a stake in the ground and we're growing more quickly than anyone. Is there something in there we could do to make it a multi-billion dollar business? I think we can figure out something along the way."

Should Instagram also prove to be a runaway success on the larger Android market, the photo sharing software will become an even larger global juggernaut. Systrom added, "We're trying to create a long-term, viable company that doesn't come and go with fads. It should be something that lasts and creates meaningful value."

Thanks to Instagram, sounds as if this "artificially aged photo" trend won't be going anywhere for some time.

Noting the new app's incredible speed, Instagram for Android will also support a wide array of screens and sharing functionality with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social networks.

No word yet on if or when the app will make its way to BlackBerry (RIMM) or Windows (MSFT) phones.

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