instagram @michaelajoyk

InstaLove

If you have followed my blog or stumbled upon my account, I’m sure that you have fairly quickly discovered that I love Instagram. In fact, I love it so much that, when I need a technology break, it’s the app I have to take a break from. When I do take a break, I have people pulling me aside saying, “I just wanted to check on you… You haven’t posted to Instagram in a few days; are you okay?” This may be the sign of a problem. However, although I have my share of addictions (caffeine, knowing what time it is, good hygiene), this one just makes good sense. Instagram is actually that good.

The most appealing thing about this social media app is that it isn’t just a photo version of Twitter or Facebook… it’s better and it just makes more sense. Here’s why:

  1. Instagram is better than Twitter. It seems like they are similar, right? They both demand quick, easy points that spark conversation and imagination. Kind of. You’ve heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” right? Well, a tweet is 140 characters. As if that isn’t enough, according to the Oxford University Press blog, we’re not so eloquent when faced with the pressure of brevity. On Instagram, you can type as many words as you want, but think of how much more you can say with a photograph!
  2. Instagram is better than Facebook. These are less obviously similar. Photos can be uploaded to both and they both have words, but this is where Instagram finds their edge. Facebook is a dumping ground of all photos. It’s almost like the virtual “photo junk drawer” or the shoebox that you fill with random photos you intend on putting in albums at some point. The culture of Instagram demands taste and quality because, if you want people not related to you as followers, you cannot inundate people’s feeds with grainy photos of your cat. You carefully pick one photo, edit it, think of the perfect caption, and then post. Also, it cuts out all (or most) of the political, social, and personal choice drama that has poisoned and ruined Facebook because the focus is community and connecting with photographers worldwide. It brings people together instead of providing a constant reminder of why you don’t like that family member, coworker, or old classmate but feel uncomfortable “unfriending” them.

With this in mind, it’s no shock that brand ads posted on Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Also, it is experiencing a rapid increase in use by teens and young adults who have begun to stop using Facebook. After reading site after site, we all agree: it’s just less cluttered. It’s clean, we all know why we’re there, and it provides just enough relationship and commitment to create the feeling of community without the excess of everyday drama and awkward relationship termination. You can stop following me at any time without me knowing (unless I use Iconosquare, but that may give me more information than I want).

Do yourself a favor, give Instagram a try. If you already have and love it, do yourself an even bigger favor and add me. I can’t wait to see what you shoot!