There’s a relatively new mobile app taking over the social networking scene, and it’s worth exactly one billion dollars. We’re talking about Instagram, the photo sharing application that has truly made photography easier than ever. Using the camera already built into your mobile phone, Instagram allows you to take pictures, apply a filter to alter the look and feel of your photo, and share it with all of your friends in an instant. It takes all the silly inspirational pictures, angry, ranting status updates, and spam out of social networking. Instagram allows you to tell the story of your life, solely through photographs – all with the press of a few buttons.
Bringing Instagram to the Xbox 360 through Kinect is an extremely straight forward concept that makes a whole lot of sense. Kinect has a built in camera that many games already use to snap photos of the player in action. Many of these games already allow you to upload these photos to in-game collections or Facebook already. Why not take the concept all the way and bring the world’s fastest growing photo sharing application into the fray? Using Instagram, players could upload pictures that games like Kinect Adventures take during gameplay, or they could use the app to take pictures of their choosing, outside of gaming. Using the same process Instagram uses on your mobile phone, you could pose for pictures and upload them right from your living room using your Xbox 360 and Kinect.
Operation of Instagram on the Xbox 360 would be fairly simple. The easiest means of control would be voice commands. You could tell your Xbox when to take a picture by speaking out loud. You could then call out the name of the filter you want applied, tell it to “upload”, and then you’re done. Your newest photo has been shared to Instagram. Now you’re sharing pictures online with your friends from your phone and from the comfort of your living room. You could also go down a more traditional route and use the Xbox 360 controller. Just press a few buttons on the controller, snap a few shots with Kinect and save them to your hard drive for later. That way, you don’t have to look like a goon when you stand in the middle of the party going on in your living room and talk to your Xbox. Save yourself the embarrassment of the #creep tweets that would follow. With all the music apps already on the Xbox Dashboard, you have a perfect excuse to have your Xbox running during a party.
Aside from uploading your own pictures, there’s also your friends photos. That is the whole point of social networking after all. If you’re fixated on your own social media content, then you’ve got a problem and it’s called narcissism. Anyway, similar to the Facebook app on Xbox 360, you’d have a feed of photos recently uploaded by your friends. Thanks to Kinect’s ability to “listen”, you’d be able to speak a friend’s user name to go straight to their collection of photos. This is absolutely perfect for the exceedingly popular tactic of e-stalking, if you’re into that kind of thing. Additionally, it goes without saying that the draw of viewing both your own and others’ photos on a big screen television in high definition as opposed to a smaller, mobile screen would make the Xbox 360 app worth downloading for many.
Instagram was created to take advantage of the the popularity boom photography is experiencing, and to make both taking and sharing photos so easy that anyone can do it. Integrating Instagram into the Xbox 360 is just as simple. If Microsoft can manage to partner up with Instagram (now owned by Facebook, whom they are already partnered with), they can expand the arsenal of tools they are giving to Xbox owners. Microsoft has made it very clear, that they are competing for complete control of the living room. The Xbox isn’t just about gaming anymore. It’s about movies, television, sports, social experiences, exercise, music, creativity, and much more. Through new technologies such as SmartGlass, you can even share experiences across your Xbox, mobile phone, and tablet. So why not go for the kill against the competition and bring Instagram into the Xbox fold? It just might be one of the many reasons that you’re going to stay glued to your Xbox 360 for years to come.