Instagram Releases API to Expand Beyond iPhone

Uber trendy mobile photo sharing startup Instagram is fast-approaching 300,000 photo uploads per day and closing in on 2 million members. It has also just released its API in private beta, according to an announcement on the startup’s blog.

The Instagram API will give selected developers access to the startup’s data and allow them to incorporate Instagram photos within their own applications. This marks a significant move by the startup; the decision will open up photos and user data, once locked down to the iPhone, to more web and mobile services and potentially spawn a new wave of user growth.

Interestingly enough, the Instagram API news follows Picplz’s public beta release of its API just hours earlier.

“Although we’re excited by the growth we’ve seen, we feel that the first step to creating a lasting company is to work with the many talented developers out there in the world,” writes CEO Kevin Systrom on the release.

Systrom assures app users that they will maintain ownership and privacy control of their images, saying that Instragram is granting access on an invite-only basis to ensure users’ photos stay protected.

“We’ve taken a close look at how to best protect your images and data while enabling developers to build cool stuff,” says Systrom. “We’d like to make sure that the people we do let in create quality apps that increase the aggregate utility of the ecosystem.”

With nearly simultaneous API releases, Instagram and Picplz have created a new battlefield and are now fighting for developer attention. Instagram’s API remains private while Picplz’s is public, which gives the Mixed Media Labs startup a marked advantage over the competition.

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