DUB Speak

The New Age of Instagram

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Change is the basis of this world. It is the only constant in life, after all. But needless to say, change is seldom readily accepted. This statement gains an elevated opposite meaning if we consider the Social Media Transition and Succession of Instagram over Facebook.

To start off with some numbers:

  • Flourishing nascent advertising business of Instagram: The mobile app which had 30 million users and zero revenue when Facebook bought it is expected to reach $10 billion in revenue by 2019.
  • Record User Additions: In 2017, Instagram added 100 million users to its existing 700 million users in less than 5 months. More than 800 million people use Instagram now. With 800+ million users, it’s in a virtually uncharted territory.

A very important question to ask, then, is how has Instagram become the new Facebook? With the introduction of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg gave birth to a community. It was a community of people wishing to know each other and develop deep and meaningful relationships through the medium of Facebook. This pure idea gained rapid root in the human minds of the early 21st century. For 6-8 years, Facebook was invincible. But it was in 2012 that Facebook tumbled for the first time when Instagram silently crossed over from being one of those ‘tech’ things that some people sometimes did to one of those ‘tech’ things that everyone you know does every day. Hence, in its truest form, Instagram was an escape from Facebook.

A survey conducted by a Web portal in USA quoted various users of Instagram. “I just think it’s a nicer place to be,” a 28-year-old blogger from Littleton, Colo., says about Instagram. Someone else said that on Facebook, “everything feels like an advertisement or an argument.” Whereas Facebook was about having an opinion and expression, it soon gained a darker aspect when reports of mental abuse and harassment surfaced frequently. As Facebook posts became lesser in terms of their significant merit, a huge section of its users sought solace elsewhere. Coincidentally, they found this refuge in Instagram, a picture-sharing portal that transcends outright bullying prejudices. It feels as though Instagram is a lot about artistry. A picture speaks volumes for itself than a textual snippet could. Through visual communication, Instagram seeks to solve another of our many millennial problems. It gained ground as an app that essentially works through pictures, raw and real or even fabricated or mystical. It indeed allowed a picture to speak a thousand words.

Things went downhill when the #DeleteFacebook movement gained momentum after the Cambridge Analytica Leaks earlier this year. The breach of privacy worked disasters into Facebook’s struggles. Thousands and thousands of Facebook users went away to Instagram, to retain the little dignity spared by Facebook.

Instagram’s popularity has risen so much that it has become the home ground of various trends and it has become the reason of various challenges-from the Ice Bucket Challenge to the Kiki Challenge. Its appeal is highlighted by its algorithm that targets people’s preferences and shows them the lists they’d like to see on their feed. Unlike Facebook, posts on Instagram are quite filtered that way. To some people, Instagram may also become more personalised if they have a private account. ‘Instagram Bloggers’ is an actual term now, and people who are into travel, food blogging, and artistic expression actually earn money through this concept. The latest offering by Instagram is IGTV that solves the dissatisfaction of the ‘one-minute videos’ design. IGTV has bloomed with a bang and there are web series and stories on it already. It is not wrong to say that our times have become all about trends and hashtags, and Instagram has provided a fertile ground for the same. To the ‘GenNext’, this seems more interesting and lively rather than the usual feed consisting of just photos, videos, and quotes. They feel involved in it rather than just being spectators.

With the advent of good camera phones and a restless human liking for innovation, Instagram gains more and more everyday-be it in terms of users, brand sponsorships or advertisements, revenue, or goodwill. But then the next question would be—how long until Instagram becomes the next Facebook? Let’s hope this doesn’t happen anytime soon.
Feature Image Credits: MediaBuzz

Kartik Chauhan

[email protected]

Gurleen Kaur

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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