Instagram. The ever rising up and comer in the social media world. In 2012 it increased 23% compared to its affiliate network Facebook which only increased 3% in the same year. So why is Instagram continually growing whilst other sites have seen better days? When we think about Instagram our first thoughts are immediately directed towards images. Thousands of pointless images roll across our newsfeed daily. According to fact browser approximately 8,500 photos are liked every second. The most popular photos that appear on our newsfeed include the infamous duck pout and classic bikini-in-bathroom shot. And how could we forget the exclusive plane wing shot? But why is it that we have this obscured desire to share our life with the world?
Studies conducted by Pew Research Centre and American Life Project show that the largest demographic using Instagram is 18-29 year olds. So why is it that ‘Gen Y’ are so obsessed? What is the meaning behind it all? Are we that poor that we cannot afford meals that we must place all food we consume in a time capsule, set in chrome lighting, to relive its awesomeness? Or must we make our social status public by posting images of our ‘binge drinking’ shenanigans. Captured with countless amounts of friends to prove we are participating in social norms, and therefore accepted within our peer groups? Or are we all living out our secret desires to become professional photographers and enlightening others with our stylistic visions?
Whatever each individuals meaning may be behind this absurd addiction we do know that Instagram acts as an extension of the eye within society. Allowing us to see halfway across the world, and even possibly deep into the emotional state of our family and peers. However, for some people Instagram has a much higher purpose than expressing ones feelings, dreams or desires. For people within the retail world, Instagram has become a popular resource for promoting products to perspective customers. Especially clothing retail stores are seeking the benefits by placing product smack bang in the middle of popular consumers’ faces. All looks positives as sales are up. But what are future implications of this?
By promoting product over social media sites will this change the physical nature of sales within society? This idea could potentially lead to the loss of physical stores within shopping centres, thus affecting the availability of jobs. By eliminating sales person jobs you’re also eliminating the need for shops and therefore shopping centres. By erasing such large constructs of communities we could be affecting the popularity of small towns and communities with limited job prospects. This can lead into a variety of large scale situations including an increased rate of low socio-economic status within society.
Putting future implications aside Instagram has reshaped the way we now see the world. It is able to transform the tiniest thing into a work of art and create a sense of life. But who knows if we’ve started a domino effect?
Ps. I chose Instagram for my technology.