Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Instagram - Visual Joy In An Instant

Instagram has become one of the most successful photo sharing apps on the iphone. The founders of the app say that 'Instagram came from the inspiration—could we make sharing your life as instant and magical as those first Polaroid pictures must have felt?'
I remember getting my first camera when I was young which was non other than the Spice Girls polaroid camera. The joy of taking photos and the ability to instantly develop and show them to others was a great phenomenon and it was because of this my fascination with photography began.

Instagram launched just under a year ago and within 9 months of launch it had 150 million photo uploads with over 7 million global users. That's 15 photos per second and around 1.3 million photos a day. Pretty impressive for such a young company. After witnessing a friend's great satisfaction with the app I recently joined the Instagram bandwagon and have used it everyday since. I love the photographic filters that Instagram lets users apply to photos, making shots look professional and artistic. Who needs Photoshop?
In addition the functionality to let users instantly share photos to their profile is a key draw as you can simultaneously upload straight to social media favourites Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
Similar to when friends on Facebook 'Like' a comment, status or photo, Instagram users can 'Like' your photos, leave comments and follow your photos. It's always satisfying when a user 'Likes' your photo. As an amateur, this seal of approval feels like a small sense of achievement similar to when my teachers at school used to compliment my artwork and grade my paintings with an A*. Ok, so I'm naturally gifted at art but that's the joy of Instagram - it enables even the most creatively challenged to be artistic.

Like most social media and new technology it is never long before brands begin to experiment and implement them into their communication strategy. After all, brands need to associate themselves with applications and platforms which resonate and excite their consumers. Not only does it gives them a point of difference to other brands but it also helps consumers decide if a brand is worth following or supporting.
It also offers a way for brands to generate and share visual content with existing fans and attract new ones via its search and browse feature.
Because of Instagrams's #hashtag and geotag functionality brands can easily use the app for photo sharing promotions and competitions.Users just have to add the brand #hashtag to their photo. Jamie Oliver uses Instagram to upload and share photos of his dishes and ABC News demonstrates the age old saying 'pictures speak a thousand words' by uploading photos to share the main news headlines.
At present Instagram is only available on iphones, ipads and ipod touch, so inevitably the photo sharing app is likely to soar when it becomes available on Android. This will undoubtedly provoke more and more brands to use the app for consumer engagement - where consumers are, brands will follow!

Overall I can't think of anything negative to say about Instagram and I will continue  to use the app in the hope that my photographic efforts will inspire others to start snapping away. The fun never stops!

If you haven't already, download Instagram from the Apple App store and follow my photo journey on Instagram @laurrobbo

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com

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