Instagram now has over 700 million users. So, what makes this app so enticing? Why should people open this app before any others? What makes Instagram different than other apps?
One of the biggest reasons most likely stems from the fact that Instagram is all picture-based. When you open the Instagram app, a plethora of colorful and unique photos flood your timeline. A big part of why Instagram is so successful is because people gravitate towards what they can see. If a picture is aesthetically pleasing, with interesting content, and a filter that stands out, a person is more likely to follow the account or like the post.
Instagram has added many new features for personal and business use. Instagram stories is just one of the many new features used for many purposes. Instagram stories consist of anything from a new song someone wants to share or a beautiful quote to inspire their followers. It provides a way to add to and create your personal brand. Businesses also take advantage of this outlet. It is a great platform to present a campaign, sneak peak of a design or showcase a new product.
Another new feature on Instagram is that you can now put a label on your account. You can choose from many labels such as, business, athlete, video creator, just for fun and more. Instagram does this in order to promote your “business.” Labels are another way to get your profile more exposure. If you choose to use one, your Instagram will become public and your label will appear in your biography for everyone to see.
Businesses have flocked to Instagram because of the “influencer” aspect. Instagram models and other influencers have acted as promoters and made it possible for businesses to get their products out to mass amounts of people. If a fan of the influencer sees them using a new face cream, they will run out to get it. Some people will stop at nothing to have what Instagram models have, in hopes to look and be like them. This is great for companies to grow. Instagram also has the option of adding hashtags to a post. Hashtags can increase the number of people who view a post, because people tend to search a word that is of interest to them.
Many people use Instagram as a way to communicate with people they do not see every day. This is one of the key aspects to why Instagram has added so many users. Being able to like, direct message or comment on someone’s post is a great form of interactive communication. These features allow people to stay in contact with their family and friends and strengthen their relationships. Also, new friendships have been be formed because of the suggested followers feature. This is when Instagram recommends people for you to follow, who you might have similar interests with.
Although there are many benefits to Instagram, it can also do a lot of harm to a person’s self-esteem. Above all, our society holds wealth and privilege as the standard to uphold. You open the Instagram app and photos that display an unattainable lifestyle fill your feed. Pictures that are filtered or altered to make it seem like the person who is posting them lives a perfect life. Instagram is the most susceptible to the concept of “fantasy lifestyles,” because of the way the app is setup. It can be dangerous to normalize posts that display extravagances. It is up to users to try to differentiate between what is fake and what is realistic. It is important to remember the grass is not always greener from an influencer’s perspective.
Casey George is a freshman Journalism – Strategic Communication major and you can keep up with her on Twitter @Case_g10