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Instagram for Android shown off at SXSW, 'better than our iPhone app' say founders

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Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom showed off a prototype of the Android Instagram app onstage at SXSW 2012.

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Today at SXSW, Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger told Alexia Tsotsis that an Android version of the app is coming "really soon." We've heard this for several months now, but it seems that the app is finally getting close to launch. On stage, Systrom pulled out a Galaxy Nexus running a prototype of the app, and flashed it at the crowd. He said, "it's one of the most amazing Android apps you'll ever see," and continued, "in some ways, it's better than our iPhone app." The app is currently in private beta, and the team hopes "to have it out to people really soon." During the session's Q&A, he added that the Android app is incredibly fast, works great on a range of larger screens, and has sharing functionality with Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks.

Additionally, Systrom confirmed that Instagram has grown to over 27 million registered users, nearly double the 15 million announced back in December 2011. He explained much of the enormous growth came from the launch of the iPhone 4S, followed by Apple highlighting the app as App of the Year.