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Is Apple about to make iCloud an Instagram competitor?

Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal have revealed a plan that has Apple creating a photo-sharing experience that would compete with the popular Facebook-owned Instagram.

Screenshot by Joe Aimonetti/CNET

iCloud currently offers users the capability to store and sync photos to other iOS devices and PCs using Photo Stream. That functionality does not, however, include the capability to share with other users directly.

According to the WSJ sources, users would be able to comment on shared photos, but any further details of the service have yet to be disclosed.

The iCloud update is expected to be officially announced by Apple at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, which begins June 11.

Last week, several sneak peeks at Apple's plans for its iCloud service made their way to the Internet buzz circles. First, a notification system similar to the drop-down banners found in iOS was spotted, leading many to believe that Apple is planning to introduce synced notifications through iCloud.

Then, just a few days later, Apple briefly showed iCloud versions of its Notes and Reminders apps, currently found on iOS and already slated for Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

This report, should it pan out, may shed some more light on Apple Senior Vice President in charge of iOS Phil Schiller's recent decision to drop Instagram. According to Twitter, his decision was because Instagram "'jumped the shark' when it went to Android."

While Instagram's adoption of the Android platform may have contributed to Schiller's "Instadeparture," Apple creating its own photo-sharing platform could certainly have contributed.

Clearly, iCloud is a major focus of Apple's future plans to keep its users integrated and synced. Well over 100 million users are currently signed up with iCloud -- a user-base that, should Apple release a public photo-sharing function, would instantly be competing with Instagram.

If Apple were to add photo-sharing to iCloud, would you be inclined to drop Instagram? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!