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Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 04/10/2012

Facebook buys Instagram: What this means to Insta-photographers

First Instagram moved its app outside the gated walls of the iPhone and onto the Android. Now, it’s sold itself to Facebook.

The outcry on Twitter was immediate: The nerve of the nine-now-likely-millionaires of the Instagram staff!

While Facebook has a history of acquisitions that feel more like takeovers, both companies insisted Instagram and Facebook would remain independent. The Android news already sparked a rush of interest in the company, with 5 million people downloading the app in six days. What exactly will the Facebook purchase mean for Instagram users? And what should Facebook users expect to find in the new app?
(Justin Sullivan - Getty Images)

On Facebook:

Brace yourself for a newsfeed full of vintage-inspired snapshots:You’re about to see the world through Instagram’s Lo-Fi filter. The deal will likely mean a huge increase in sharing Instagram snapshots — which is good news for those who love the retro look, and bad news for photographers who decry the Instagram filters as cliche.

iPhone photographers love Instagram because it has the ability to dress up any average-looking photo to make it seem artfully composed and interesting. And that’s exactly why “real” photographers hate it: It replicates an effect that, for them, requires vintage equipment, expense and hours of practice. Though there’s no word on how Instagram will change, it’s safe to assume that the already swiftly-growing app will become even more popular. Depending on your perspective, that means a newsfeed full of better-looking images, or faux-retro fakery.

But also, prepare for a better mobile photo-sharing experience: Facebook’s mobile app is a source of frustration for many — people complain that it’s riddled with bugs and a bad user experience. Facebook can learn from Instagram here — something that Mark Zuckerberg noted in the announcement of the deal. “This acquisition hints that Facebook will be working on cleaning up their mobile experiences across devices,” Corvida Raven of SheGeeks wrote. “Facebook users should pay attention. This could be the foretelling of your future mobile Facebook experience.”

For Instagram users:

Decide if you want to jump ship: Though the announcement of the deal said that Instagram would keep features like the ability to maintain separate Instagram followers, and not share all Instagrams on your Facebook news feed, some users, wary of Facebook’s privacy track record, are about to jump ship. Digital Trends made a to-do list for any Instagrammers who plan to delete their accounts, with tips for importing all of your photos, taking notes on Instagram users you’d still like to follow, and alternative photo-filtering services.

Consider these predicted new features: Tech Crunch has looked into its crystal ball and predicted five specific changes that will come about thanks to the merger. They seem pretty innocuous — perhaps reassurance for people who fall into the ship-jumping category above? With “Facestagram,” you may get a streamlined login for both sites, an easier way to import photos, better systems for tagging and a way to make geo-tagged Instagrams into check-ins. Surely, there are other changes in the works — but iPhoneographers will have to wait and see.

Related:

Facebook acquires Instagram for about $1B

Facebook buys Instagram: Social media users react

Instagram on Android: Tips for using the instantly popular app

By  |  10:49 AM ET, 04/10/2012

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