Instagram wouldn’t have achieved a $1 billion buyout in 18 months if it wasn’t incredibly popular. So what makes it popular?
- Instagram is Social: People are social creatures. We like to tell others what we are doing, eating, buying, and seeing. Sharing an image through Instagram not only communicates what we are doing and where we are doing it, it gives iPhone users the ability to add a little creativity into their day and actually share a small piece of digital art.
- Instagram is Free: Though it is downloadable from the iTunes store, all the photo-editing bells and whistles of Instagram are completely free to users. Another big benefit to users is the lack of advertisements cluttering up the screen, a common complaint of Facebook users.
- Instagram is Easy and Fun: Instagram doesn’t need a complicated help page to get it up and running. Snap a picture, edit, caption, comment, like and share are simple tasks to accomplish, so the learning curve is easily manageable. Through the use of filters, borders and other special effects, people with little artistic ability can drastically change the look of any picture they snap. That is just plain fun.
- Instagram is Instant: Clumsy user interface and long loading times were criticisms of other photo-sharing applications, and even of Instagram’s early versions. The current version loads quickly, and in this age of instant gratification this feature alone gets points with users.
- Instagram is Creative: While a status update on Facebook or Twitter of “Bought a pair of red shoes” can be boring to read, illustrating the purchase with a snappy photo including a border and a retro filter effect is visually appealing and allows the user to show some creativity. Anyone and everyone can show their artistic sides with Instagram. Ordinary, everyday objects can be transformed into works of art in a few moments, then shared with the Instagram world and other social media friends to admire previously unknown artistic ability.