Instagram clicks with Hipstamatic

The two wildly popular photo apps move ahead with a photo-sharing partnership that will let users easily post Hipstamatic creations on Instagram.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
3 min read

The popular photo apps Hipstamatic and Instagram seem to have drawn a little closer.

Instagram has 17 filters to choose from for touching-up and enhancing photos before sharing, while Hipstamatic's free features include four lenses, three types of flash, and three kinds of film. The point here is this: there's a lot more people can do with photos using Hipstamatic, but there's been no one-step way to share them.

Until now, judging by a Hipstamatic tweet today:

Sharing is about to get easier! Tag Facebook friends & upload to multiple networks, incl. @Instagram http://bit.ly/yQunPt (@FastCompany)

Instagram screenshot Instagram

A subsequent tweet said the change would "start rolling out in the next couple hours."

That reference to Fast Company no doubt was a shout-out regarding the story the site ran earlier in the day, pointing to the impending photo-sharing partnership -- a partnership driven, it seems, by necessity.

"When we launched, it was all about Facebook and Flickr and Twitter, and now we're seeing a huge shift in our user base toward Instagram," Hipstamatic cofounder and CEO Lucas Buick told Fast Company. "We've never been a social networking company, but we clearly benefit from social networks."

Instagram lets users export photos to other social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, but until now has not allowed for the reverse. If users want to share photos from other apps, they first have to add them to their camera roll and then import them into Instagram.

"This will be the first app outside of Instagram that lets you into their network," Buick said. "That's pretty cool for us."

There is a natural fit here. Both apps are only available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (although Instagram's Android app is in the works). Hipstamatic won Apple's iPhone app of the year in 2010 and Instagram got it in 2011.

The benefit for Hipstamatic is instant access to Instagram's network, which is 27 million users strong and growing, and for Instagram it's being able to grow as a social network and become a platform that could continue to expand.

"I'd imagine if the experiment takes off that you'd likely see more API clients being allowed to do the same in the future," Instagram CEO and cofounder Kevin Systrom told Fast Company.

The way the partnership will work is when users take a photo with Hipstamatic they'll have the option of pushing the photo to Instagram with one click, according to Fast Company. Users will also be able to auto-tag the photo with the lens, film, and flash they used. Once posted to Instagram, the photo will have the attribution, "Taken with Hipstamatic."

"Really it all comes down to this: People post Hipstamatic photos on Instagram all the time, and we just want to make that experience easier," Systrom said. "We've been very careful about making sure that Instagram photos are about what's happening right now in your life, and we want to allow for more of those photos to end up on Instagram regardless of where they're taken."

Instagram and Hipstamatic were not immediately available for additional comment.

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