Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram has been the talk of the town in the past week. The fun and quirky little app and social network has been gaining serious momentum, yet there are still a lot of folks that aren’t familiar with it. So what makes it so different than other image sharing networks? There’s definitely something resonating with users to warrant a $1 billion price tag!
Early adopting brands are already using Instagram in a variety of ways. The question is, should your nonprofit or organization jump on the bandwagon? Now that the goliath Facebook is in Instagram’s corner, it looks like it could be here to stay.
So what’s the fuss all about?
As a proud Instagrammer myself, I’m addicted to this app. I’ve found that one of the most interesting aspects of Instagram is its mobile exclusivity. You can’t upload a photo from a desktop. You can view a photo if someone shares it, but interacting with the community has to be done through a mobile device. Because of that, I find myself checking Instagram way more than Facebook on my phone. Seeing a feed of photos from my friends as they’re on the go is extremely interesting. I’m not just talking cute babies and pets (although those are definitely there too), but seeing the world through their eyes.
The app makes everyone an artist. The built in filters add an interesting twist to normal pictures, and the active community offers points of view that can even be inspiring. It’s become another way to be creative, and when someone likes your creativity it’s a good feeling. I love seeing how my friends are using it, and I find myself getting excited when I get a new notification for a photo. Apparently, I’m not the only one that feels this way. With 35 million users and growing, Instagram has created an active, passionate community.
Where there’s a community brands will come.
Since launch, Instagram has had a number of early adopting brands. I’ve gathered a few interesting examples that could be applied to your organization and help tell your story.
Give your audience an inside look. E-commerce website Threadless uses the app to promote new designs and shows what happens behind the scenes at their warehouse.
Show photos from the field. Charity Water has a great collection of photos of their efforts in action in different countries.
Ask for user-generated content. The Barack Obama Instagram profile asks followers to use the hashtag #Obama2012 to submit photos to share on the feed.
Report the news. NBC News does a great job of sharing photos on location, and even designing images to break news.
Showcase events! Acura created a video guestbook using Instagram during the NY Auto show.
Show your organizations fun and creative side. NPR’s Instagram profile is run by their visual media department, and on April fool’s they declared they’ll only show cats from “meow on”.
As you can see there are plenty of brands in the space and having fun with it. Like any social network, Instagram is a channel to tell stories. It may be an opportunity to show a side of your organization that many people don’t see. It’s definitely time to consider joining the space. With plenty of buzz, an active community, and the backing of Facebook — Instagram will certainly be around longer than an instant.
Are you planning to bring your brand to Instagram? If so, send us your examples in the comments we’d love to see them!