Instagram offers more visual type of social network
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Instagram’s user base has grown rapidly to over 150 million active since its start-up in October 2010. It grew 23 percent last year, compared to Facebook’s three percent growth, according to a report by GlobalWeb Index last January.
“Social media keeps growing and it seems to be another platform of staying connected with friends from all over the world,” said Jamarious Wicker, senior theater major. “It’s like Facebook, but just for sharing pictures. I downloaded (Instagram), honestly, because it was the new ‘it’ app, but I found that I liked it.”
Wicker said he now uses Instagram every day.
“I don’t post as often as others,” Wicker said. “Just important events or pictures I find important to what’s happening in life and pop culture.”
Instagram’s popularity has risen significantly in the last year, matching the popularity of other social media such as Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, who purchased the photo-sharing app in 2012. In February 2013, Instagram announced it had 100 million active users, only two and a half years after its launch.
“I use Instagram because I physically get to see what my friends are doing throughout their day,” said Gabrielle Garrison, sophpomore secondary English education major. “My sister got me hooked on Instagram. She adds a picture at least once a day.”
Garrison described an Instagram picture as “a visual status or tweet,” and said she checks Instagram about five times a week.
“I can see my friends doing what they’re doing, rather than only reading about it,” Garrison said.
Instagram also features the ability for users to share their photos and videos on other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
“I use Instagram to share pictures through other social media outlets,” said Justin Rahe, junior communication major. “It’s an easy way to simply edit and share photos. I get on every day and share three times a week.”
Rahe said he was introduced to Instagram through his fraternity brothers.
“I don’t think (Instagram) is about being appealing, it’s more a different place to share another side of you,” Wicker said.
Wicker said he feels that Facebook is meant to be forfriends and family and is more G-rated.”
Wicker said Twitter gets “raw,” but Instagram is where photos of your life go.
Garrison said her Instagram posts are “a little random.”
“I have to be doing something I think is cool, something that is ‘Instagram-worthy,’” Garrison said. “I don’t like posting ordinary things on any social media site.”
Wicker said Instagram is also a means for communication about events happening locally. The Instamap app for iPad finds Instagram photos based on location and hashtag, which can help bring a new sense of community to the photo-based social media app.
“It’s like a text message to me now,” Wicker said. “I wake up and check all of my social media sources, but with me being from another state, I’ve found it’s a great source of staying in touch.”
Instagram recently expanded its horizon and introduced a video-sharing feature in June 2013 that allows users to share 15-second videos, which imitates another video-sharing app, Vine, that allows 6-second video loops.
The presence of artists on Instagram can also appeal to art enthusiasts and aspiring artists who want to share their work to a larger audience.
“My friends have shown me a lot of cool art on Instagram,” said Nic Dikin, junior glassblowing major.
Dikin said he does not use social media very often, but he has considered signing up for an Instagram account.
“I might get one just to put photos of my art on there,” Dikin said. “I don’t know for sure if I will, because I don’t know how often I would actually use it.”