Instagram , a photo sharing application for the iPhone, is rumored to have 1 million users in first month, says Robert Scoble. It allows you to quickly take pictures, apply a filter, and share it on the service or with a number of other services. The team behind it is also behind Burbn, a location-based service that works with HTML5-compatible web browsers.
The idea behind Instagram seems to be less archive-oriented and more feed-oriented. That is, instead of something like Flickr, which acts as a repository for your photo collection, Instagram is an app from which you share the random photos you snap on your phone from day to day. You can add effects, share your photos with your Instagram followers, and even upload them to other networks like Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Facebook.
Instagram, an iPhone app for adding artsy filters to photos and sharing them across various social-media networks, which has taken the early-adopter crowd by storm and courted heavy investor interest in the mobile photo-sharing niche.
A Thursday New York Times story revealed that investment firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has a stake in Instagram, just led a $5 million funding round for the parent company of competitor Picplz–which in turn caused a blogger at Business Insider to wonder whether the apparent conflict of interest indicates that Instagram has been sold.
CNET has learned from multiple sources that Instagram is actively putting together a round of Series A funding and that it’s seeking a valuation of about $20 million, a sizable figure for a company that’s currently restricted to a single mobile platform and has no source of revenue yet. The size of the round and the investors involved remain cloudy, though one source hinted to CNET that Sequoia Capital is positioned to be the lead investor. (That’s very much a rumor, and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom declined to comment.)
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has come out swinging against suggestions that the photo-sharing startup is on the verge of selling out or raising a big funding round.
“We’re not selling to Facebook, we are not selling to anyone and we are announcing that to our users because they have been worried,” he tells TechCrunch.
The app, which boasts hundreds of thousands of users, sends passwords in plain text leaving users wide open to fraud.
While a hacker can do little damage with an Instagram account this security lapse has wider implications since internet users tend to use the same password for multiple websites and applications.
Mobile phone users’ willingness to connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without a second’s thought make gaps in security such as this even more hazardous.
One might expect problems such as this to only effect small apps made by start-up companies, yet it seems glaring holes in coding exist right up to the very top of the tech industry – location-sharing rivals Gowalla and Foursquare have previously been revealed to have the same issue.
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