When Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, users of the site let out a collective gasp of shock and horror. Their favorite, seemingly-undercover site, a hip photo-sharing app, would now be invaded by what they perceived as the mindless mass of Facebook drones.
What made Instagram so special? Besides being a social media platform “built on emotion,” Instagram also seemed an artist’s dream, taking mobile photography and turning it into art:
It’s not just that you can manipulate your photos with pretty filters—the Hipstamatic app already provided an analog aesthetic using anachronistic lenses and various choices of “film.” Instagram, and mobile photography in general, is about the serendipity of taking photos on the go and then publishing those little visual poems. (The New Yorker)
As horrified as exclusivist Instagram users may have been to see the opening of a floodgate of users, savvy professionals have been able to leverage Instagram’s broad user base as a signal boost for their work.
Through Instagram, they can:
- Provide a personal “behind the scenes” peek through candid photos
- Interact uniquely and personally with their client base
- Appeal to a more visually-oriented audience, such as those in the art community
- Broaden reach through taking advantage of Instagram’s massive user base
With over 90 million users who log in at least once a month, Instagram can provide a signal boost to any person or company willing to invest a few minutes to post photos. The ease of sharing photos and connecting with others provides a personal touch and friendly feel to supplement professional online galleries and marketing-targeted websites. Instagram can prove a boon to businesses seeking to reach a broader audience in a more creative way.