Will Apple Take Down Instagram?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upgrade of its mobile-phone operating system iOS 6 and the iCloud service will include a photo-sharing utility à la Instagram, which is being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion. The new features will allow iCloud users to share photos with other users and to comment on them, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

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The newest version of iCloud is expected to be released at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference beginning June 11, where it could also preview the new operating system.

At the moment, Apple’s Photo Stream feature lets users store photographs in iCloud, which syncs to other Apple devices. The upgrade will also allow iCloud users to sync personal videos as well as access Apple’s in-house Notes and Reminders apps through iCloud.com.

About 125 million Apple device owners have signed up for the iCloud data-syncing service, the company announced last month. In February, the company had said the service had a 100 million users.

With Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launching its own cloud-based storage offering, Apple’s move to improve its data-syncing service will be a smart one. It’ll also be a pretty direct attack on Facebook, whose new acquisition made a lot of noise, and which is planning to hold its initial public offering later this week.

Instagram launched as an iOS-only app, and made its service available to Android users only last month. Apple’s Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller, had announced then that Instagram “jumped the shark” by welcoming Android. The app has more than 40 million users.

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