Mexico City, Mexico (PRWEB) June 12, 2012
instaDM, the iPhone app that lets people send private messages to other Instagram users, has been making waves in the App Store since day 1 of its release. First unveiled in April 2012, instaDM has managed to garner over 500,000 downloads in its first month alone. Now, after just two months of being in the App Store and with a brand new update released a few days ago, the Instagram private messaging app is well-poised to hit the one million mark in the near future.
According to instaDM co-founder Cristian Castillo, the app was created to fill a big void in the Instagram community. In spite being a top-notch photo sharing app with great social features, Instagram lacks direct messaging capabilities that allow users to take their conversations off public comments.
Castillo mentioned that he and his brother Roman were big fans of Instagram but “hit a brick wall” when they couldn’t send direct messages to other users. “We started to encounter people with similar perspectives. Friendships grew, and so did our need to communicate.” This, according to Castillo was what made him and his brother develop the instaDM platform. “My brother and I have our own sets of skills. I come from a technical ‘hacker’ background while Roman is a UI expert, so we were both extremely pleased when we learned that Instagram had launched an API and allowed us, as developers, to tap into their rich network of friendships, moments and memories. Developing the app led us to fully utilize our strengths, which is very fulfilling for both of us.”
Despite the fact that instaDM has received limited press coverage, the app was still able to gain solid traction in the App Store. instaDM is widely embraced by the Instagram community and is constantly being mentioned and shared through other social networks. Furthermore, over 30,000 images mentioning and promoting instaDM have been posted by the users themselves.
instaDM users can further show their support by donating funds through in-app purchases. The app allows users to earn certain badges for their donations. A $5 donation gets users a silver badge, while $20 and $50 gets them gold and platinum badges, respectively. According to Castillo, they have received nearly 6,000 donations, including contributions from well-known artists such as Ne-Yo and T-Pain.
These user donations have directly funded the app and allowed instaDM to continue growing independently and without VC funding. Moreover, compared to other app development companies that spend thousands of dollars in marketing and advertising, the Castillos relied only on word-of-mouth to spread the word about instaDM.
Castillo mentioned that they recently released the newest version of instaDM where they did a complete redesign of the app. “The initial version was our first shot at developing for iOS, so it wasn’t perfect. For this version, we basically created an app from the ground up, and made adjustments based on what we learned from the first version.” Castillo said that the latest version of instaDM has improvements on speed and performance. It also lets users strike up conversations with fewer clicks, as well as view another user’s photos right from their instaDM profile.
Castillo said that a highly requested Android version of instaDM is “in the works”. He also mentioned that they’re planning to enhance the app’s “social discovery” experience, in which users will be able to find and chat with other people with similar interests.
Co-founded by Cristian and Roman Castillo in April 2011, instaDM started as a web app that allowed users to conduct private conversations with other Instagram members. After being picked up by Boxcar in September of that same year, instaDM user base grew exponentially. This prompted the brothers to develop an iPhone app, which then garnered hundreds of thousands of downloads almost immediately. At present, instaDM has over 680,000 users and millions of private messages are being sent using the platform daily.
[ To learn more about instaDM and to see the app in action, visit http://insta.dm/ ]