The app Instagram has built up a huge following thanks toits ability at making smartphone photos look more interesting and artistic.Just take a photo, apply a few filters to it, and you have something that lookslike it could be out of a photobook, out of an art installation…or out of the70s. Despite the huge number of people taking, posting and sharing thosephotographs, those users haven’t been on the Android platform…until now.

This week, the Instagram folks have finally gotten around toreleasing an official version forfans on Android (some okay and not-so-okay copycats have been around for abit). Reaction has been largely positive so far; in fact, one of my co-workerswas absolutely raving about it today. But there are also a handful of folks arealso a bit more cynical about this late release – someone in my Twitter streamjoked that the introduction of Instagram has finally brought their Androidphone squarely into 2011. Ow.

While taking photos and putting artsy filters on them isfun, it’s really the social aspect that people have been waiting for. Not onlycan you share your images to places like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr andLinkedIn, but you can also stash your pictures in cloud services like Box andDropbox for later retrieval. Plus, you get access to Instragam’s own network ofusers – as with other social networks, you can choose people to follow, and getfollowed in return.

If you don’t mind being a bit late to the Instagram party,you can get in on it by downloading it now from Google Play. It’s compatiblewith Android versions 2.2 and up.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada