In this article we will explain you the reason of this growth, anything but casual.
Let’s start with analysing some numbers: a recent statistic, of August 2015, (source statista) shows the exceeding threshold of 300 million monthly active users. No doubt, an interesting number in absolute terms, but even more interesting if analysed in terms of increment. To do this, we rely on a second statistic (the same source statista) that shows as in March 2014 the number of active users was of 200 million and in February 2013 of 100 million. Basically every year (or so) the “social space” taken up by Instagram doubles its users.
How is this possible?
The first consideration is the same one underlined in a thousand other contexts, the smartphones spreading has changed the relation with internet, increasing the network use and the social tools, even several times over the day. In this case, for Instagram, we notice an extra reason: the mobile devices are endowed with camera. Taking photos and making videos have become a habit for many of us, photo (or video) that describe our day, multimedia items that we share with our friends, that help us to explain better some situations, that allow us “to bring online” part of our real world.
The first equation is therefore very simple: two billion smartphones sold, billion of potential photographers, three hundred million (for now) monthly active users on Instagram.
Thinking that the success of Instagram is exclusively related to some well-placed lens inside our mobile phone is however extremely reductive.
Instagram is simple, intuitive and represents one of the points of arrival of this process of extreme synopsis of concepts and language that is taking place online.
We may browse Instagram even from a mobile device; it has a strong visual impact, is multicoloured, multimedia and multilingual allowing its own projection to be exposed with no need to be explained. It is an expository global space consulted by tens of millions people every day (Milan Expo is a party for few intimate friends in comparison).
Instagram, same as Twitter, is further strengthened by the aggregative dynamics due to the use of hashtag and the possible interaction with the same Twitter.
Instagram is not just a personal space to fill in an original way and share with the other, but a possible showcase where art, history, culture, fashion, music, new tendencies and so on, may find the “right” attention. For a better perception of the large variety of contents present in this social network we consider appropriate to give you a few examples.
For instance, we recommend you to visit Cory Richards’ Instagram page, photographer, traveller, filmmaker who share his own travelling adventures; some photos are really beautiful… Instagram is the ideal space for documentary photographers, the fantastic images published by Benjamin Lowy and National Geographic are proof of this.
As mentioned above, on Instagram we find everything, from the fascinating romantic photos as those created by Arthur Elgort, fashion photographer, to the original space “seriousdesign”, from visionary to trash, that proposes objects “mixed” with food or the real “space” described by NASA, the Starbucks logos, the photos of a young rapper or photos of little dogs that on Internet, let’s face it, never miss. All examples that draw the attention of millions of followers, more exactly these first nine examples which we list, have till now, altogether, over 342 million followers.
No famous person can do without participating in this global showcase, singers such as Katy Perry or Madonna or, champions such as Usain Bolt or Serena Williams. Almost all the main protagonists of our time talk about themselves on Instagram.
Furthermore, we highlight, even if still a recent phenomenon and not yet widely spread, how Culture itself has decided to accept the challenge proposing its own beauties in a “social” way on Instagram. One example out of many is that of the Great Museum of the Duomo of Florence, that provides a “social space” all to be seen with beautiful photos of the Cathedral, the Dome, the Bell tower and so on.
Today Instagram is, for all intents and purposes, a huge global Expo which is able to feed its own personal (or institutional or commercial) popularity. But Instagram is also the image of society and tendencies of our times; it is transposition, the multimedia copy of the real world, the anthropological overview of the 21st century.
Moreover, from our point of view, the number of users still relatively low, even though fast-growing and the multimedia dimension that characterise Instagram have effect on the contents and descriptions, generally less banal compared to longest-running and popular Facebook until now at least in part.
As always, our advice is to be there and participate, do not remain a “network outsider”. Carpe diem and then share it online, through Instagram, create your best global expo!