Produsage and Instagram

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Bruns describes Produsage as “collaborative content creation and development practices found in contemporary informational environments” (2007). Therefore, when analaysing the social media platform Instagram we are looking at the contributing, sharing and interconnectedness between users. 

Back in the 1970’s Alvin Toffler concieved the idea of the ‘prosumer’ describing the emergence of a “more informed, more involved consumer of goods” (Bruns, 2007). With the empirical rise of social media sites, such as Instagram, Toffler’s view on contemporary society is coming to life. This is evident throughout the active participation on Instagram where users are engaging in prosumption, which combines both production and consumption. 

The features on the app promote user based content allowing participants to upload, share, edit, comment and like eachothers images, creating a visual narrative online where they are able to express their ideas. The use of creative common laws assist this process allowing for the reuse and remixing of already exisitng content to enhance the individuals beliefs. Instagram displays the four key characteristics Bruns describes are the framework for produsage. Photographers have proposed the idea of Instagram generating its own unique art form with 200 million dedicated monthly users engaging within the social media community uploading and sharing over 60 million photos every songle day! 

The app’s success has been generated through the fluidity of its nature. Allowing users the freedom to actively select and participate in which ever role they desire, thus encouraging the use of the app. Also aiding towards this instant rise is the ability to blur the line between professional and amateur photography. By allowing users to ‘edit’ their images through filters it has, for many, enhanced the quality of many peoples images.

As I mentioned earlier the use of the creative common laws, which enable individuals to re-use images suggests that the content shared throughout Instagram is and always will be an unfinished product. This idea of a continually developing, evolving product is an exciting prospect. The theory that there is always room for improvement will be forever present, encouraging users to search and work towards that ‘perfect’ image. 

The main feature I enjoy from Instagram would be the interconnectedness within the entire community. We are all engaged with eachothers work as we use key tools such as the ‘hashtag’ to seek out everybodies story and discover who they are. We share our interests, which grow daily due to the consistent contribution each individual makes. As the sun sets here we can see it rise half way across the world. It may be a little unprofessional to say this simply but thats pretty cool. 

Bruns, A. (2007). Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. Proceedings Creativity & Cognition. 6, p4.

2014, Instagram Statistics,Nitrogram, viewed 14/5/2014, http://nitrogr.am/instagram-statistics/

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