I love Instagram. At first I was skeptical about yet another photo-sharing app, but as soon as I started using it I discovered an entire social network around photos. Now I check in daily for a few minutes, just to browse around through the photos of people I follow. It's just as fun as keeping up with Twitter, except there is less noise and more serendipity in my Instagram stream. I do not use many social media products beyond StockTwits and Twitter, so that says A LOT about how captivating Instagram is.
CEO Kevin Systrom and the Instagram team are exactly what you picture when thinking of scrappy startup entrepreneurs: four guys in a room. Literally, there are only four people at Instagram. And they're working in a corner of a shared tech office in San Francisco's South Park neighborhood. While the company has raised millions in capital and is watching its user base grow at the astronomical rate of over 1 million users per month, the team isn't getting ahead of itself; they haven't even gotten around to building a Droid app yet. So what's the game plan at Instagram? I stopped by to find out.
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Howard Lindzon is the co-founder and CEO of StockTwits--a social network for traders and investors to share real-time ideas and information. StockTwits was recently named one of the 10 Most Innovative Web Companies in 2011 by Fast Company and one of the 50 Best Websites by Time magazine.