Instagram, Hipstamatic team for mobile photo sharing

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Photo-sharing service Instagram is partnering with Hipstamatic, enabling the imaging app's users to port their photos to the Instagram network in a single click.

Hipstamatic offers Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone users a series of virtual lenses, film stocks and flash settings to create stylized photos and video clips. Moving forward, the Hipstamatic app will feature an option to automatically upload photos to Instagram, complete with tags indicating which imaging effects were used as well as comments. Photos also will appear with the attribution "Taken with Hipstamatic."

Fast Company reports that Hipstamatic is the first third-party developer granted access to the Instagram API; while Instagram users have been able to push photos out to social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, the service has blocked direct ports from those sources.

Named the top iPhone app of 2011 by Apple, Instagram--which also enables users to filter and manipulate photographs--touts more than 27 million users across the iOS platform. Late last year, CEO Kevin Systrom revealed the firm is working on a version optimized for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, adding "I'm excited to be able to see our numbers today nearly double."

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported Instagram is poised to raise about $40 million in financing, vaulting the company's valuation to as much as $500 million--roughly 20 times what it was worth just a year ago. Speaking Wednesday at Federated Media's Signal conference, Systrom suggested Instagram is preparing to roll out advertising, a move to answer investor questions about how the company will build a sustainable revenue model around the free app.

Calling Instagram "the next big opportunity in display advertising," Systrom said the company has not yet formally launched an ad service but said brands like Burberry are already leveraging the app as a promotional tool, sharing fashion show photos and reposting ads amplified by Instagram effects. "What's really cool about this is, it doesn't feel like advertising," Systrom said, according to TechCrunch. "When you open Instagram, it feels like entertainment."

For more:
- read this Fast Company article
- read this TechCrunch article

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