Hurricane Sandy is poised to become the superstorm of the century as it looks to go for a stroll across the Atlantic seaboard and right into the middle of America's largest metropolis. In the process, and certainly a bit perversely, this unholy marriage of a tropical storm and a Nor'easter is shaping up to be a feather in the cap of Instagram.
The photo-sharing app that Facebook snapped up earlier this year is reporting that users have already uploaded and tagged hundreds of thousands of photos related to Hurricane Sandy:
The Instagram community has been sharing photos from the storm-at a rate of nearly 10 each second-with the hashtags #hurricanesandy, #sandy and #frankenstorm.
Some are already considering Instagram's potential to become the new Citizen Journalism belle of the ball, stealing the tiara Twitter earned during the Arab Spring and beyond.
But before we get too excited about the notion of recording history as it happens in sepia and dozens of other filtered shades, keep in mind there are still plenty of shots of cupcakes and cats with #hurricanesandy tags. It seems anyone with enough foresight to snap some great shots of their storm preparations might also have time to do some baking and pet grooming while waiting for the apocalypse.
Of course, in the case of these epic Instagram images, Google would need to swallow its pride and put aside its business battle with Facebook in the name of building the ultimate crisis response and documentation resource. Since we seem to have a hard enough time just getting federal agencies to work together in times of emergency, I'm not holding my breath for that one.
Fortunately, we do have Instacane, which was originally created back in the days of Hurricane Irene to track all storm-related shots on Instagram. The result is an awesome stream of all things Sandy, from satellite shots of the massive, swirling clouds to silly creations like a terrified Statue of Liberty that has abandoned her pedestal.
There's also still plenty of Hurricane Sandy activity on Twitter and everywhere else you turn, but as the old saying goes -- a picture is worth a thousand tweets.