Thursday, March 22, 2012

Instagram Introduction!

If you’ve gotten a new smart phone in the past year or so, you have probably realized that the camera on it is better than that old digital one you have lying around from 2008. The camera quality on these phones has opened up the door for many new picture-oriented applications, some of which are both fun and useful. 

Lately, I have been really into an application called Instagram. It is basically a phone-only application; there is not an actual website that can be accessed. Instagram allows users to share and edit photos they have taken or created. Users simply need to download the free application from the app store on their phone and create an account. Once created, the user can decide whether they want their profile (and therefore photos) to be public or private. After they have decided this, they can begin to post their own pictures and even share them on other social media outlets. 

(Picture taken on my phone, of my phone, and edited with the Instagram app)

 Users can then search for friends or pictures they want to see. Instagram is different from other applications as a person can only “like” a picture; they cannot reblog, repost, or republish them. The application does allow a user to comment on photos directly though. Photos can also be hashtagged, like Twitter, and it allows photos to be easily found. I, for example, searched for pictures tagged with #EDCNY, which is a music festival I will be attending this year. I was able to see everyone else who had tagged their photos with that, and essentially saw who was going to be there from the Instagram community. 

If you are a business, it may help you find new clients. I had tagged a photo of one of my necklaces, and the next day, I had several new followers, all of which were small jewelry stores that sold similar pieces and styles to my own necklace. Some of them actually intrigued me, so I followed back, and with one of them, I will be making a purchase shortly! By simply searching around some hashtags, companies were able to define me as a target customer and catch my attention.

Although you may be thinking, “great, another social media outlet to pay attention to”, Instagram is one that is more for fun than anything! Make an account and play around on it one day when you have some free time. You just may be pleasantly surprised by what photos (or who's photos) you can find!