Instagram is home to a large community of active produsers- 200 million to be exact. (Instagram INC, 2014) ‘Produsage‘ is “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement.” (Bruns,2007) Users have the ability to build, collaborate and change content information from different opened source platforms. Through liking, commenting, hashtaging and re-graming, the social media community successfully make the transition to a produsage world.
Brun’s describes the four key areas associated with produsage;
Open Participation is the first principle relating to the the assumption that all community participants have to ability to evaluate, critique and contributing to already established work. “Produsage therefore draws on as broad a range of available knowledge, skills, talents, and ideas as is available, and encourages its participants to apply these diverse capacities to the project at hand.” (Snurb, 2007). Every contribution whether big or small, make a valuable contribution to the overall project. Instagram is an open software, free to download application, allowing anyone to participate. By editing and uploading their own pictures they are contributing to Instagram. Users are also encouraged to like and comment other photos, examining and evaluating work of others.
Fluid Heterarchy involves “the assumption that while the skills and abilities of all participants in the produsage project are not equal, they have an equal ability to make a worthy contribution to the project.” (Snurb, 2007) It has a fluid flow between the knowledge as skills of seasoned professionals and amateurs. Instagrams allows the everyday person to feel like a professional through the tools of filter, crop, frame and caption. Instagram is opened to both experienced and unexperienced photographers.
The third principle is unfinished artefacts. It means that content is regarded as an unfinished artefact rather than completed works. “The process of produsage must necessarily remain continually unfinished, and infinitely continuing” (Snurb, 2007) Instagram is collection of old and new photos that can be rediscovered via the ‘hashtag’. Old photos can be renewed with new edits and ‘re-grammed’ from other users, continually evolving.
Common property builds on the idea that content created in produsage will be available for not only current users, but also future users. Future users have just as right to the content, as the current users. The use of the ‘hashtag’ on Instagram, allows photos to be freely available to anyone interested in that topic. ‘Hashtaging’ and ‘sharing’ provide a collective intelligence that can easily be accessed.
Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC.
Instagram INC, 2014, Instagram Today:200 Million Strong, Instagram, viewed 16/5/14, <http://blog.instagram.com/post/80721172292/200m>