I came late to the Instagram game. I think I joined in 2012. All my friends already had it. I remember my boy saying, “it’s all about what you like, man.” Instragram triggered a weird pattern of behaviour in me. It became all about the two m’s – models and memes. I started taking a lot of selfies, and for some weird reason, I wouldn’t let my followers/following ratio go below 1.
Instagram was different from Twitter and Facebook in that it didn’t reinvent the wheel. There were a million photo-sharing platforms Instagram had to compete with, but some of them were kinda douchey. Instagram was successful because 1) it was primarily a moble app 2) it focused on the “social” part of social media and 3) it simplified the shit out of everything. They made it all about easy metrics – follows, likes and comments.
From this combination of simplicity and visual appeal arose primordial versions of what we now know as “the influencer”. People were thrust into the public consciousness just by having popular Instagram accounts. We knew their faces, fashions and lifestyles, and we also knew how powerful their reach was.
Companies took to Instagram for much of the same reason. Unlike other social media platforms, you could straight up advertise on Instagram and people would react with it in droves, as long as it looked appealing. This really bode well for photographers, visual artists and the fashion industry. Inevitably, strategic partnerships began developing between brands and influencers. This crossover started with detox tea companies (as the old joke goes), but real companies eventually got wise to Instagram’s marketing potential. Somewhere along the way, Alexis Ren ended up in a Hyundai commercial.
Instagram used to be my favourite app until recently, but things have changed. The explore function used to be my favourite. Now for some reason I can’t make it single photo view without clicking on the pictures, and when I click, it takes me to an “explore page” of just that account. Does anyone know how to change this? It’s seriously ruining my procrastination steez/meme dm’ing. I also don’t like the new algorithm-based timeline, I find it buries my friend’s pictures behind all the tinder bots I’ve been tricked into following.