The amount of content we consume everyday, thanks to the internet, has created a demand that info be available to us in real time *insert photo of Veruca Salt*. Our digital communication has become so photo-centric that using the term photo blog is almost redundant. Apps like Instagram have provided us with a platform to present this info in the simplest form possible, photography.
People are turning to Instagram not just as a place to post photos, but as a place to expose their lives and thoughts into the captions as well. Instagram might seem like a weird place to keep a public diary, but unlike Facebook, Instagram is a space where people feel more freedom to just be themselves. The audience is curated, comments aren’t threaded, sharing or reposting requires an outside app, and the use of a mobile keyboard cuts down on arguments (who has time to argue if autocorrect is messing with your street cred). Instagram was created for sharing lifestyle content; it’s not going to replace websites anytime soon, although it is a form of microblogging.
My Instagram “diary” mostly consists of my friends, family, myself, and places I’ve traveled. While some spill their life into a caption mine tend to not be longer than a sentence or two. Instagram is how I keep people up-to-date and connected to the things happening in my life. While there are some people solely concerned about the number of likes they receive on a photo (I know people who will delete a picture and repost it because they didn’t get enough likes, yikes), that’s not my concern. I obviously like the picture or I wouldn’t be posting it, whether you like it or not is your prerogative. Aside from the things I post, I also view photos that my friends are sharing and other accounts where the content interests me or I find it aesthetically pleasing. I like the freedom of being able to curate my audience and having control over what I see and what I don’t see. While Instagram isn’t private it feels private, I have the power to choose who I want to and don’t want to share my life with.
In Julia Dinardo’s “Can Instagram Be Considered…a BLOG?!” she talks about how elements of Instagram can influence traditional blogging. Three points to consider are the emphasis on the visual, brevity, and the freedom from web hosting and domains. Dinardo mentions that, we are a visual culture, Instagram reinforces this through the sharing of photos and the occasional video. Direct interaction with an audience can show how successful a point of view is through comments and likes. Brevity, or shortness, is an important part of blogging. Attention spans, when it comes to reading, have become increasingly short; there is no word count on Instagram, if you’re post is too lengthy you’re likely to get skipped over. Imagine a world without hosting space and domains (oh wait, there’s Instagram). A place to hold all of your content for free, which means you don’t have to spend money on a hosting space or domain. Who doesn’t like free things?
We typically think of Instagram as social media and nothing more. While traditional blogging requires everything from branding to writing, this platform gives you instant access to an audience, you just have to provide the photo and the text. It’s easier, it’s free, and the potential growth for this form of microblogging is inevitable.