Instagram: First Major Overhaul after Facebook Acquisition

The app became faster and brighter yesterday as it rolls out its new 2.5 features for iOS.

Instagram on the iPhone finally got its first major update since the social networking giant bought the app for more than $1 billion, and it’s a fairly big one. Photo: Bakerella/Flickr

Instagram has come a long way since it was launched as an iOS-only, photo sharing and editing app.

While for many users, the service is about sharing their experiences through photos, for others, it’s about making art through their iPhone (and now of course, Android).

Now, Instagram has become even much better for the iPhone with the launch of a new update that is designed to bring about a renewed profile tabs, visual improvements and tweaks to improve optimization.

Some more customization has been brought to Facebook as well.

The list of the new items includes a spruced up profile tab, different ways to search, commenting improvements, and visual and speed enhancements.

There is also a noticeable Facebook feature that lets users share likes, or little hearts, to Facebook if they want.

Version 2.5 is mostly a visual update, which features a new Explore tab for browsing hashtags and usernames, search autocomplete, and a revamped profile, reports The Verge.

Which is more, now using the app, loading pictures and comments appears to be faster than it used to be. Opening the camera is also lightning quick, but which is more noticeable is the new “Explore” tab, which replaces the Popular tab of yore.

Explore has changed its navigational icon, as well as a search bar at the top of the screen for finding other users and hashtags. Initially, the increasingly popular search field was hidden inside a menu.

The updated app also features like-option (hearts) that post directly to Facebook’s Open Graph, in accordance with a new “Like” action Facebook announced last week.

New Settings panel allows Instagram users to decide whether they want to share all in-app likes to Facebook’s News Ticker and Timeline. If one manages a brand Page, he can even post Likes to your brand page from within Instagram.

However, it remains unclear when Instagram’s Android app will be updated to maintain parity with its iPhone brother, but we’d assume it’s already in the pipes.

“Social networking has taken a major turn moving from the PC to the palm of one’s hands. Over the last couple of years and more so over the last couple of weeks, Instagram has gained worldwide popularity at a break neck pace,” writes CNET.

From an app for iOS devices only, Instagram has now become available on Android as well, thus giving an opportunity for casual as well as professional photographers to share their sights, thoughts and even visions with the photography community.

A few months ago Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had agreed to acquire photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion in “a combination of cash and shares of Facebook.”

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all,” Facebook Chief Executive wrote that time.

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