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(Pocket-lint) - We all know that Instagram is headed to Android. What we didn't know was that the Google-powered version is promising to be even better than the iPhone one.

That's the word according to Kevin Systrom, the company's CEO and founder, who says the app will launch "really soon" and that "in some ways, it's better than our iPhone app" .

Systrom was talking at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, where he also demoed the Android Instagram app running on a Galaxy Nexus. He described it as "one of the most amazing Android apps you'll ever see".

The application - which allows you to share retro style pictures between followers, as well as tweet and post images to Facebook - has long been popular with iPhone users. 


As of now the service has no fewer than 27 million users - a figure that has almost doubled since 15 million users were declared in December. Launching on Android will create a huge new number of possible users of the platform which is currently limited, being available only on the iPhone.

Spurred on by continued camera improvements, Instagram's clever retro-style post-production functionality and ease of use is making it the go-to social photo sharing app and there are rumours aplenty that the company is raising $40 million as part of a $500 million valuation - rumours which the CEO refused to clarify at the festival.

“Good companies are always fundraising,” Systrom told TechCrunch. “Whether you’re meeting people or considering firms, you’re always fundraising. But it doesn’t mean we’re active. We’re trying to create a long-term, viable company that doesn’t come and go with fads. It should be something that lasts and creates meaningful value.”

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We'll let you know as soon as Instagram for Android lands.

In the meantime, check out our Best Android photography apps guide

Writing by Paul Lamkin.