Instagram for Android - Another Social Networking Tool I Just Don't Need?

04/04/2012 11:58 BST | Updated 03/06/2012 10:12 BST

I'm a prolific user of social networking tools and have been hard at working annoying my friends, family and steadily-gathered online disciples with quips, news links, embarrassing stories about accidentally using Deep Heat instead of deodorant and the occasional photograph of, well, anything that's taken my fancy since 2007.

Instagram, the photo-sharing app that has had iPhone users evangelising about the worthiness of their device over Android users since 2010, finally launched on the Google mobile platform on Tuesday but I must admit I'm struggling to see what all the fuss is about.

The app was launched relatively quietly, with just a small link to the Google Play Store appearing on the company's website to guide enthusiastic Android users in the right direction - but immediately the web was ablaze with fanatics and detractors alike. Jenna Wortham, writing in the New York Times blog, reported that Instagram was seeing 2000 downloads of its app every minute from its new Android community.

I have to say that I'm finding the Instagram experience relatively...meh. This isn't because the app is poor - in fact, it's anything but - but developers focusing so heavily on the Apple platform and leaving the Google operating system out in the cold means that we Android users have had access to a glut of alternative photo-editing apps for some time now and I'm not really sure I need another one.

The Instagram interface is nice, tidy and quick to get to grips with. A large, centrally placed button allows me to switch to camera mode and once I've snapped away I can apply one of the several lens filters that the app is famed for. Or I can import a photo I've already taken.

Once I've adjusted the picture to my liking it is uploaded to my Instagram account, where it's instantly shared with my online community; I can even choose to share the picture with Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare and Tumblr. Why not Picasa and Google+, I wonder?

The look and feel is pretty similar to the iPhone version, although one big feature - tilt-shift, which allows you to produce pictures that simulate a miniature scene - is missing from the Android version. This is a shame - I like having fun with tilt-shift features.

I have no doubt that Instagram will be a huge success on Android, simply because of its reputation and massive community, and the fact that so many have waited for so long for it to be launched. (Perhaps developers would do well to remember a massive community of non-iPhone users exists out there which they could be tapping in to because, while they're not, somebody else is.)

Instagram's biggest selling point is its online community of photo-lovers, and it can be fun to flick through the massive library of pictures that are out there. If you are somebody who spends your entire day taking photographs of your dog, or your beef burger, or your cups of coffee (there seemed to be an awful lot of pictures of that ilk when I scanned through different user profiles; I'll admit my first snaps were of a lemon and a packet of Monster Munch) or who likes to look at the photographs of strangers rather than your friends, then Instagram is definitely for you. It provides an undeniably excellent community for photo-lovers from one end of the professional spectrum to the other.

But if you're an Android user who simply snaps the odd picture and shares it with your existing online social networks, then - for me at least - the jury is still out.

It might grow on me, but for now I'll be sticking with Vignette. Which does have a tilt-shift feature.