Instagram is one of the more recent channels to emerge on the social scene; however, it is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of connecting on the internet. Instagram is particularly popular with teens and millennials. This popularity has made Instagram a new frontier for those trying to reach this coveted audience.
Maybe it is an exaggeration to say Instagram is “changing the world.” However, it is clear that this medium is changing the way in which many communicate. And how we communicate often drives how we behave and what choices we make. Here are three ways Instagram is revolutionizing how we live, whether it is working, playing or doing business.
1. Visuals are King
Unlike Twitter or Facebook, which more often emphasizes written text, Instagram relies on images for people to communicate. Instagram posts may include brief “comments” or hashtags like in the other social networks, but the king of Instagram is the photo. Yes, you can post images on Twitter or Facebook, but the primary way people communicate in these mediums is via words. You have to post an image to use Instagram and you don’t necessarily have to write anything in the post. Why is this reliance on photos so revolutionary? It changes the way we process information, what we pay attention to, and who uses this platform.
2. Emotions Rule
In terms of processing information, communicating primarily through images means relying more on emotions and quick judgments. Comprehending an Instagram post takes little attention because we tend to have gut reactions to images. We process images quickly and emotionally and well-thought out reasoning isn’t as important in this medium. The emphasis on images means people have to learn to communicate emotionally in order to participate.
3. The Appeal of Celebrity
Yes, there are many celebrities who use Facebook and Twitter. However, Instagram provides them an opportunity to “show” an inside view of their lives. People don’t just get to engage with celebrities on an intellectual level verbally; they are influenced emotionally by celebrities. Candid photos develops a perceived intimacy between the celebrity and their followers. Our culture is already celebrity-obsessed and Instagram only reinforces it. Celebrity candor on Instagram is attractive.
What consequence do these unique elements of Instagram have on our daily lives? One of the consequences is how this social network influences our consumer choices. Our emotional reaction to the Instagram posts from celebrities, television shows, movies, and advertisers encourages what, when and where we make purchases. The visual often embeds deep in our unconscious much more subtly than text does.
In some ways, businesses are using Instagram as a supplement to Facebook and Twitter in engaging their customers. But just as celebrities are turning to it as a way to build a fan base, businesses can develop committed consumers via this medium. We just have to wait and see how Instagram keeps revolutionizes the choices we make in our daily lives.
Contact us to learn ways you can communicate visually with your audience through Instagram.