Instagram 2.5 For iOS Debuts First Major Upgrade Since Facebook Acquisition

Instagram on Tuesday announced iOS version 2.5, the first major upgrade to the social picture sharing platform since the company was purchased by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for $1 billion in April 2012.

The new update includes some interface tweaks including a revamped profile tab and an “explore” section which replaces the applications “Popular” tab.

As expected the upgrade also brings with in Facebook “Likes” integration which links directly into Facebook’s Open Graph.

The biggest push however is the explore option which provides a new navigational icon and a search bar. Using the search option users can find other Instagram users and explore any tags of their choice.

Instagram 2.5 also allows for a more refined commenting platform while at the same time allowing for autocomplete of searches based on people you follow.

Facebook’s team has also refined the app to load faster for both pictures and comments, a fact that won’t be lost on Instagram users who have often complained that the program was sluggish on almost all fronts. The main advantage appears to be opening the camera which is now much faster than it was in previous release versions. As a constant Instagram user I can attest to the constant frustration that often existed as I waited for the app to load and the camera function to turn on.

Facebook has not yet revealed when the Android equivalent of the upgrade will be made available.

In the meantime the Instagram upgrade can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free and users with the program already installed can simply perform an upgrade.