Last week, a "report" by InFlexWeTrust showed a screencap of a popup that invited users to download a "featured" app - Instagram for Android.
With all the crapware pushing AirPush ads to your notification bar that we've seen last week (including the fake Pinterest, Temple Run, and - drumroll - Instagram) and all the clues regarding this so obviously fake Instagram app, one would have thought a bit of caution by the blogosphere would have been a good idea. Unfortunately, the Instagram hype is so strong that plenty of blogs ran with "Instagram was leaked" and "Instagram is almost here" stories.
Well, it's not. Rather, we really don't know - it very well could be (we do know it's in development), but a screenshot of crapware advertising more crapware is surely not a sign of things to come. The only thing it did tell us is Instagram is popular enough to be faked.
Observe. This is the screenshot from the "Instagram is coming" post:
And this is one of the AirPush (or another comparable notification spam ad network) ads advertising a fake Temple Run game, which is arguably even more hotly anticipated than Instagram:
Image credit: Monkey_Tennis
See the similarity? Spammers: 1, premature hype: 0.
Sorry, the Instagram app is not going to be here because a fake ad said so. A fake Instagram app, however, that's a whole other story.
Stay alert and suspicious, folks.
P.S. I will repeat myself as long as it keeps coming up, but people want Instagram because most designers and photographers with iOS devices are already on it, not because of some filters that plenty of Android apps already support too. Instagram's value is 99% its own social network and 1% image manipulation.