Instagram is an exciting and eccentric way to share your life with friends through sequences of pictures. Snap a photo with your phone, select a filter to transform your image and post it to your network on Instagram for all of your followers to enjoy. Instagram is storming the social scene, having expanded from 15 million users in the beginning of 2012 to 80 million users in July – an astonishing 400% increase (Forbes). Instagram’s success lies in its ability to provide an outlet to make any photo into a work of art, and it’s free! You can easily and instantly share, like, comment and upload your pictures to Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Analysis of current Instagram usage can also provide another window into consumer insights and user-generated content. Over 40% of the world’s top brands are Instagram users. Companies such as Nike, Audi, Burberry, and Tiffany & Co. have all entered the Instagram arena and are rapidly accumulating followers by providing additional insight into their brands.
If your brand or client embraces the social media space, then Instagram can enhance their presence. Instagram acts as a grassroots-reporting tool, which lends itself as pictorial prose distributed through channels that can build your brand, by sharing information and engaging with the consumer through both visual and textual elements. It also gives you the ability to showcase a brand’s culture and further extend brand image. A study done by Simply Measured states, “For brands that continue to hold out and watch as their competition is engaging users and measuring results, 80 million potential customers are being ignored.” The social marketing environment is thriving and images often appeal to more people than just text posts, furthering Instagram’s audience appeal.
Instagram plays into social logic through its framework of keeping it simple and user friendly, without having to re-invent the wheel. They went with proven and solid technologies that enhance the user’s experience while interacting with the application. As an avid Instagram user, I encourage you to explore and create with Instagram on a personal level. Why not even take it a step further and participate in one of Instagram’s weekend hashtag competitions, such as the #WHPGOLDENHOUR, which asked participants to capture photographs of the first or last hour of sunlight during the day. Then, if you love what you have created, you can print your photos and display your art for all to delight in. (Mashable provides you with 11 ways to print your pictures here.) Happy photo sharing!