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Why Instagram works

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You might have seen me post about San Francisco-based photo sharing service, Instagram way more than any of the newer mobile apps and services. It is because I am quite fond of the service and to it represents a unique way of thinking about mobile apps. It is also one of the applications that is built around the idea of “engagement” and they have the possibility of creating a new attention-centric monetization model.

In a few months, the company has managed to get over 5 million members and that growth hasn’t slowed down at all. Often people ask me why Instagram works. This comment that was left in response to one of photos I shared on Instagram. Instagram member @dl (DL Willson) succinctly explains why Instagram works and why it competitors have their work cut out.

Gotta say I am glad that Instagram has allowed all the moments like this one from all over the world. & with a handful of simple quick filters they understood better than other sites, photographs are almost always personal & emotional & mixing/giving the artist in everyone a chance to re-augment life with the same unseen emotion ..serendipity and meaning that can’t just be done in verbal description. They created something kinetic and wholly new to the Internet. IMHO

That comment also sums up why Instagram has a chance of becoming the mobile social hub.

Here is a video interview with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.

10 Responses to “Why Instagram works”

  1. Mango Fleurs

    Big fan of Instagram and getting to see people’s experiences without actually being there is amazing!
    I use instagram and statigram together to see stats and not have to view it on my iphone all the time. Statigram is perfect for this!!

  2. I am relatively new-comer to Instagram. I think I have been using the service for 3 months. Why did I start using the service because a number of my friends liked it. Why do I still continue to use the service because it’s simple, quick and fun.

    On a professional level, I see Instagram solving many issues. The primary issue is — access. I can now be witness to events from any part of the world. They could be pics from Afghanistan to South Africa to New York City. Instagram is a tool that not only allows you to share moments in time but tell a story.

  3. Instagram is a good sitcom that has run its course and is now walking dead as the television networks that would have put them into syndication (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) all have their own fall sweeps now.

  4. Sachendra

    The two reasons why I can’t do without instagram:
    1. it let’s you apply all sorts of filters which help me personalize the shot and then share it on Facebook and twitter. If FB comes with filters I might stop using it.

    2. I subscribe to people who post nice pics (my friends are already covered with FB)

    We’ll have to wait & watch if FB photo app addresses the gaps in thier photo sharing service, if they do, that’ll have an impact on instagram

  5. My other, more historically contingent thought on why Instagram works: many people (like me) use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, &c for work purposes. We needed a new social network that could serve our purely social wants. Instagram, being nearly useless for any kind of work, is perfect for this. On the great filter debate, I think the filters add to the idea that this is not a documentary platform, but something that’s just kind of fun and mood-driven, like the photographic equivalent of the old blogger thing, “Mood when written: Sarcastic.”