Considering the tagline of this blog, “Shattering and spotlighting stereotypes, one instagram at a time” I thought it was high time I post something about my long and obsessive relationship with Instagram.
I was introduced to the photo-sharing app not too long after it came out. I knew only a handful who were on it and so followed about 15 people. I had 6 followers. But that didn’t stop me from taking my new iPhone 4 everywhere and sneaking a few pictures at work and when I was out and about. I did, however, make it a point to promote the app to everyone and anyone and without even trying I became its unofficial marketing manager to my network of friends. As years tumbled by, the Instagram community grew bigger and bigger until everyone was talking about it. I no longer needed to sell the ingenuity of the app to my friends, they were already on it, adding, posting. liking and commenting! Random followers were a norm and I too started following people I didn’t know but whose pictures I loved. My feed starting to get really crazy. I was getting glimpses of the world at all different times. From the iconic to the minimalistic to the bright and blurry to the monochromatic to the puddle reflections to the scenic landscapes to the electrifying cityscapes; you name the style and it was all there. Photography was storming through Instagram and sparking a welcoming cacophony of creativity. And it continues to do so today.
Everyone knows how big Instagram is. Everyone knows Facebook acquired it for a monstrous sum of US $1 billion and that aside from Obama and Jaime Oliver, you have the likes of other mega celebrities on the app sharing their photos. Even Syrian President Bashar Assad has an account! Everyone knows that Instagram has firmly plunked itself on the social media bandwagon with international news agencies like CNN and the Washington Post using it as a platform for news and communicating with their audience.
But here’s how Instagram directly affected me (@priboghani):
- I got a freelance assistant web producer gig for a few months because the senior editor at the time noticed my work on Instagram.
- I used it to promote a charity run for the initiative I co-founded with my friends, One Hand Five Frames and in turn raised awareness about women’s health issues.
- I documented my 3-month stint in India and in turn reaching out to the Instagram community in Pune and other parts of India.
- I was offered a photography project because someone who followed me on Instagram saw that I had moved to the same area as him. I took it and made some money and a new friend.
- I instigated an instagram photowalk in Pune with my new friends, learning about the city’s heritage and people at the same time.
- I was honoured to be approached to partner a T-shirt making app called Snaptee for my Instagram photos. I signed up and now I’m one of their seven Instagram remix partners.
- I’ve used the app to create some pretty cool gifts and I’ve received awesome gifts through it, too
I recently discovered the Shapergram Project in Hong Kong, a project that
harnesses the power of popular social media platform Instagram to create awareness of social issues in Hong Kong. Instagram is largely a visual platform, with 150 million users globally. As the popular adage goes, a picture says a thousand words – we believe that the platform would be a powerful way to raise social awareness. Coupled with Instagram’s social devices such as username tagging and hashtags for grouping popular topics, we hope to be able to incite conversation around the issues. Social media activity will also help raise the public profile of the Hong Kong Hub.
and I’m quite excited to see where this will take the Hong Kong instagram community!
All in all, it’s been a great ride so thank you Instagram! Here are two little tributes, courtesy of flipagram (oh and there’s audio so turn up the amp!):