First the app, then the world. Instagram, the popular iPhone photo sharing tool, has raised $7 million for expansion.
Only four months old, Instagram has already attracted nearly two million users, who collectively upload 290,000 photos each day. Following the fundraising, Instagram will be expanded to cover more mobile phone operating systems, including Google’s Android. But it seems picture apps are only the beginning, judging from an ambitious statement from chief executive officer Kevin Systrom: ‘We’ve got some groundbreaking stuff in the pipeline that changes the way we see and consume what’s happening in our world.’
The fundraising brought onboard big technology names such as Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square. Another investor is Adam D’Angelo, the former Facebook chief technology officer who has now launched social Q&A service Quira.
The funding will ‘help tackle next-generation problems of scale in mobile and social’, says Systrom, who should benefit from tutelage of the been-there-done-that technology experts. Turning a profit from free-to-use services is a tricky issue, but Facebook has managed it and Twitter is thought to be close behind. Scale seems to be the key her, but if Instagram keeps attracting users at the current rate this might turn out to be a piece of cake.