Yes, yes you do. Well you probably do and I definitely do! You would be crazy not to with over 150 million active users capturing and sharing photographs every single month! (Instagram INC, 2013)
The birth of the new social media phenomenon, Instagram, has become a very popular media platform for social media users. Instagram is unlike the other social media sites and apps, in that it is purely used to capture, edit and share moments. They say that a picture says 1000 words, and this is where Instagram allows users to use the app as a photo journal, personalising their photos and storytelling the important things in their life.
The way it works: You capture a photo or video using the Instagram app, add a filter to create a vintage feel or make your skin look better (this trick works wonders), play around with rotation, focus and framing, add a witty caption with some emojis, name the location, add hashtags eg. #selfie #sexyandiknowit #wokeuplikethis #likeforlike #areallylonghashtagsayingsomethingthatnoonecanread, and lastly share it! You can also share to other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Then you sit and wait for all those likes to roll in, the ultimate decider of your online popularity.
Its success caught the eye of the most valuable social network in the world. Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion. Being under the Facebook umbrella has only increased Instagram’s popularity. After joining the social media juggernaut in April 2012, the Instagram community grew and is constantly growing. (Costill,2014) Instagram saw a 23% increase in active users in 2013 while Facebook had a drop of 3%.
But what does this mean for the future of Instagram?
Instagram has made a shift from selfies and is now largely used by businesses to promote their company. It is also used widely by celebrities, models, etc. Simmonds word blog (2014) says that advertisements will continue to develop and drive success of Instagram in 2014, he believes that sponsoring posts by influencers is where Instagram really growing as a marketing tool.
This is where issues of copyright and ownership come into play. Posting a photo to Instagram does mean that they now own the photo and can sell it for advertisement use. There have been cases of models walking down the street and seeing their photo on bus, and have not been paid a cent for it, let alone asked for consent. Copyright is one of the big issues involved with Instagram and with changing terms and conditions we will see this issue on the rise.
Simmond’s (2014) believes that besides this Instagram has not reached it’s peak yet and will continue to rise, especially in terms of marketing. This is still the beginning of the life of Instagram, having only been on the market for 3 years. He believes that 2014 will be a boom and the landscape is ready and marketers are finally starting to understand how they can use a tool like instagram to tell their story and connect with their audience in a more compelling way.
I am definitely excited to see if Instagram is a social media that will last in the market, what will happen to the platform in the future and the effect that the ownership of Facebook will have on it!
Ashpari, Z 2012, Why Is Instagram So Popular, Social Networking Software, TechHive post, April 6th 2012, viewed 20/3/14, <http://www.techhive.com/article/253254/why_is_instagram_so_popular_.html>
Penderworth J, 2012, What’s The Future of Instagram, Jacob Penderworth, Appstorm post, April 11th 2012, viewed 20/3/14, <http://iphone.appstorm.net/general/opinion-general/whats-the-future-of-instagram/>
Lundon, I 2014, Instagram is the Fastest-Growing Social Site Globally, Mobile Devices Rule Over PCs For Access, Ingrid Lundon, Techcrunch post, January 21 2014, viewed 21/3/14, <http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/21/instagram-is-the-fastest-growing-social-site-globally-mobile-devices-rule-over-pcs-for-social-access/>
Simmonds, R 2013, Why Instagram Will Be The King Of Media In 2014, Ross Simmonds, Social media today post, December 23 2013, viewed 20/3/14, <http://socialmediatoday.com/ross-simmonds/2019291/why-instagram-will-be-king-social-media-2014>
Instagram INC, 2014, Instagram Today:150 Million People, Instagram, viewed 19/3/14,<http://blog.instagram.com/post/60694542173/150-million>