Social media is a never ending cycle of updates and new apps, but one platform is here to stay: Instagram. Instagram popularity and engagement has increased to the point where it has taken users away from other platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat. When you break it down, it makes sense why Instagram took over. It has everything. Once it was a way to share your favorite photos in order to reflect your lifestyle, what you were eating or a solid selfie. Since it's launch in 2010, Instagram has launched game changing features attributing to its steady growth with over 800 million active monthly users. Check out Instagram's impressive timeline:
2011: Launch of the hashtag
2012: Facebook acquires Instagram for approximately $1 billion
2013: Launch of video sharing
2014: Users can now send posted Instagram photos through messaging
2016: Controversially, Instagram switches from chronological positing to algorithm
2016: Launch of Stories, in direct competition to Snapchat
2017: Launch slideshow feature, giving users the ability to post multiple photos on one post
2018: Launch of IGTV, in direct competition with YouTube
As you can see, Instagram is constantly building off of its initial concept: photos. It started as a place to share and edit pictures, but never settled for being just photo sharing app. They continue to integrate evolving features that compete with every social platform.
So, why do users love Instagram so much?
The hashtag system is one of the greatest searchability strategies in the history of social media. Now there's a way to connect with other accounts using #WordsWithNoSpaces with a # in front of them. Take two ways of searching for illustrators or graphic design inspiration: browsing Behance or Dribble which will only showcase who you follow and people with thousands of likes and followers OR search #illustration on Instagram. At first you will see the top 9 posts with the most likes using the hashtag #illustration, followed by posts in chronological order. That is how you find people like @instabanz!
There is something to be said about committing to posting a photo on Instagram. It lives there forever (unless you archive) and it contributes to the aesthetic of your feed. Library is the term used for the square format images that live together on your profile, while stories are what live in the circle format at the top of your feed. (Feed refers to the dynamic content page that pops up when you open the app where you can see everyone's posts and stories.) A video or photo added to your Story lives for 24 hours. It is essentially Snapchat with more filter options.
3. Visual Story Telling
Instagram is the epitome of instant gratification, and we're fine with it. When I say "visual story telling," I'm not referring to the Stories feature on Instagram. I mean, we're really telling a story about our life through photos that live on our library. It is the only platform that puts our memories and favorite photos together with no distractions. In comparison, if you wanted to see photos of someone on Facebook, they're divided up into different and, somewhat confusing, Albums; there's mobile uploads, Instagram Photos, Videos, Profile Pictures, News Feed, etc. Instagram gives you the ability to share your life in photographs unlike any other social media outlet.
4. Photo Editing Made Easy
With one click, you can turn your photo into an edited masterpiece with Instagram filters. Filters are a user-friendly editing process that compiles a series of exposure, lighting, and color edits to a photo in one swift movement. Instagram users have been able to raise their selfies and travel pics up a couple of beauty notches with the instant gratification of these filters. Sticking with the same 1-2 filters is a great branding strategy for a business, or someone's vibe on their personal account. For example the all black and white account below.
5. Create Connection
Instagram allows users to build connections with others in a way unlike any other social platform. To state the obvious, here's a list of ways to literally connect:
- Mention an account name in your description
- Geotag your location
- Tag the image
But its so much more than that. Instagram has enabled us the ability to show off our best selves for photos, create a collection of images that express our lives and where we go, and who we do it with. It builds a story unlike any other app or website, and it is what draws users in the most. Connection.
Digital Coordinator & Junior Designer
Maddy is a graphic designer and enjoys being immersed in everything digital. She has been an East Side resident for over six years and believes Milwaukee is the place to be! She prides herself on always having a restaurant recommendation and believes a screen should be replaced with a good book every night.more posts by Maddy →