Straight back to it at the second day back in my office for 2013, and I am kicking off with a post about the mighty INSTAGRAM!
Firstly, I think I need to tell you, I don’t use Instagram for Business – and thats not because I don’t think it’s powerful for business (more on that further down) but because I LOVE TAKING PICTURES FOR FUN.
I taught myself a long time ago how to use a digital SLR camera, and how to use photoshop to edit those photos so they looked the best they could possibly be – I like to think I’ve got a natural eye for a photo – but lets be honest, the whole taking out a camera kit bag and the subsequent hours you could spend on editing and then uploading to wherever (facebook, flickr, google picasa) is pretty time consuming.
In this web 2.0 world, everything is fast paced, and as it develops further and further, its fast becoming a mobile world – with powerful smart phones that pretty much have the full functionality of a computer with the added bonus of a digital camera it kind of made sense that a mobile photo taking / uploading and editing app was created ……
Created in October 2010 (so its still a toddler) with over 100 million active users by September 2012, you could say that this app is a key player in the photo sharing world, of course now its owned by Facebook (since around April 2012) but is not without controversy. A December 2012 update to its T&C’s (where Instagram states they have the right to sell users’ photos to third parties without notification or compensation after January 16, 2013) has catapulted it right back into the spotlight – rightly or wrongly so – but there is still no escaping its overall appeal.
FACT – Instagram is EASY to use – fast, simple, no complicated settings, ridiculously easy to sync with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr for fast social sharing.
You open the app, take a picture, select whether you want a border and what how you want the picture to look upload and just choose where you want to share the picture (aside from Instagram)
If you don’t like the picture, you just retake it – no big deal, no bulky equipment to carry around, no need for a mac / pc to edit – just point, shoot, upload & go.
The inner camera / photo enthusiast in me LOVES this – I don’t even take a camera on holiday with me anymore – I’ve got EVERYTHING I need with my smart phone and this completely awesome app.
For me, this is FUN – this is not about business, but like I said it can be powerful for business and pictures still stand out far stronger than words – even if the likes of Facebook are making it hard for photos to ‘reach’ – Instagram is a MASSIVE area for just pictures alone to reach MANY MANY people – and why is that?
Just like TWITTER you can add hashtags # to your images as a comment when you upload them – and just like people search those in Twitter, people do the same with Instagram (this is what i LOVE!!!!!) and its as instant as the Twitter search facility.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve Instagrammed examples of written work I’ve done, examples of my newsletter I write, and some blog posts, or my new Facebook cover photo – but mainly I Instagram pictures of my dog (and there are MANY of them) and stuff that happens around me. I want to keep Instagram about me, and the fun element – I’m not worried about it developing my network for business, I’d rather focus my efforts elsewhere for that, but there is a massive opportunity for people to build connections / relationships with Instagram just like they can with LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook.
Here’s something pretty clever – the sync to Twitter means that if you search a hashtag, Twitter will automatically list every tweet that contains that keyword – including the ones via Instagram.
Instagram is not a ‘Visual’ Twitter however, it is fast evolving into something of its own that will be a key player in Social Media.
As you know, I read and trawl through a lot of information on all things Social Media and rather than me document further how best to use Instagram for business, I’d like to share with you a post I’ve read today which does an incredible job of breaking it down.
Check it out here from unbounce.com
Oh and one last thing before I leave – here’s one of my favourite pictures that I’ve taken on my Instagram – if you want to follow me then do so here instagram.com/missclairt
Have a great day!