I certainly don’t claim to be any kind of expert on Instagram. The most significant fact for me in Instagram’s short history is its acquisition by Facebook for $1billion in April this year, just after Facebook’s own IPO!
For those who don’t know anything about Instagram, a brief introduction….. Instagram is a free photo-sharing app launched in October 2010 that allows users to snap a photo on their iPhone or Android, add a quirky filter, and share it across Instagram’s internal network or Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.
It is a mobile app but it is also a social network. It’s like Twitter with followers, only instead of real-time text updates, you provide photo updates. The app enables you to alter the photos you take with your phone by adding filtered layers that imitate the look of low-end film cameras, so you can achieve a variety of different effects.
A distinctive feature is that photos are confined to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.
Instagram is now one of the largest social networks with more than 30 million registered users, who can “follow” friends, “like” photos and comment on them. More than 1 billion photos have been downloaded or about 5 million per day. The amount of engagement is impressive too: the photos generate more than 575 “likes” per second and more than 81 comments.
Instagram also holds the record for the fastest app to reach 1 million downloads, which it achieved on 21 December, 2010. Apple named it the app of the year in 2011. At the time Facebook bought it, it still only had 13 employees!
Rather than attempting to explain how to use this platform and repeating information that’s already available, I’m linking to a great article I found on Mashable “The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram” by Stephanie Buck. Stephanie explains clearly in 10 steps how to use Instagram and connect it to your social media if you want to give it a whirl.
Instagram, along with Pinterest, scores on the basis that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ so it will be interesting to see where Facebook takes it.