Instagram was a tiny app that grew at an amazing rate. Hipstagram is another app that has grown faster than most, and Snapseed was just purchased by Google.

What does that mean? Is it, as one of the articles below suggests, the end of photography? Or is it a new, and very cool little tool that will grow into something amazing and a part of the arsenal of professional photographers.

I use all three, and really enjoy their quirky twist on the image. But there are detractors as well. I thought it would be interesting to see what others think about the photo sharing tool everyone loves – and some love to hate.

“I became very, very quickly addicted,” says Reid, who works primarily as a web designer. “It’s a fascinating phenomenon, unlike anything. Something like Twitter — that’s a community, but its not such a happy community, where people are all sharing their art and talking about it, like [Instagram].”

Thousands of people like Reid have used Instagram to meet other photographers experimenting with the medium, and even selling their photos on sites like Instaprints. Reid’s own “DCEmmy” Instagram account now has almost 5500 followers, and she has exhibited her work in mobile photography shows across the country.”

Read more at Huffington Post.

David Harry Stewart has a short little rant about Instagram.

I get asked all the time if I feel threatened by this new wave of iPhone bearing Instagramming photographers. Why would I possible feel that way? I think everyone, every single person on the planet should be Instagraming and we would all be better off.

This post at Forbes shows how far reaching the formerly little app has grown; “Google Challenges Facebook And Instagram With Snapseed Buy”

“One reason we can presume Google wants to integrate Nik’s technology into its social network: the acquisition was announced by the man behind Google+ himself, Vic Gundotra, on a Google+ post. “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” he wrote.

The same post also talked about the growth of Google+ users, saying the network now had more than 400 million signups, with 100 million of them “monthly active users.”

At the Guardian, there is this; “Is Instagram ‘debasing photography’?”

“It’s not just Instagram – other software produces the same effects: Hipstamatic, Snapseed and of course the big boys: Gimp, Photoshop and Lightroom.

For me, these filters spoil pictures: they get in the way of the image and they distort the story the picture is telling. It jars to see a picture taken a few seconds ago, in the summer of 2012, that looks like a picture from my childhood (I’m a 60s baby).”

Over at Bloomberg Business there was this interesting article on pro photographers using Instagram.

“Following the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, asked several prominent photographers, editors, and other photography professionals about Instagram. For many of them, the simple app has changed the way they shoot and what they choose to share with the world. Here are their replies, in their own words.”

“8 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM TOP INSTAGRAMMERS” has some gorgeous imagery and some good information.

“Rather than just snapping drunken shenanigans with pals, some Instagram users are creating mind-blowing pics with just a few taps on their iPhone. Want to know how some of the most popular users do it?”

So what is your take on Instagram?

Or for that matter, what is your take on Snapseed and the acquisition by Google?

For me it is simply a lot of fun, and a great way to amuse myself.

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