A: An Instagram.
Lol, get it? 🙂
A free photo-sharing site, Instagram offers a variety of effects, called “filters,” that transform mobile photos, which can then be uploaded across multiple social platforms. Similar to Facebook, users interact with others through “Likes” and “Comments.”
In terms of social photo sharing, Flickr was launched six years prior, in 2004. Yet, the reason Instagram surpassed 80 million users (versus Flickr’s 51 million) is due to its user-friendly interface. It allows amateur artists and even people who has never picked up a camera before to develop their creativity and experiment with the effects, thus becoming photo journalists.
Anyone with a cell phone could easily register for an account and share photos. The result? Over 60 photos are being uploaded to Instagram every second. Its tiny company of 13 employees even caught the attention of Facebook, whose recent $1 Billion acquisition by made headlines.
Instagram is now worth $77 million per employee.
No wonder corporations use Instagram as a marketing tool.
Starbucks and Nike are two of the better known agencies in retail, fashion, and food services that use this app to build brand awareness.
It’s an ingenious way to subtly bombard consumers with advertisements, and they don’t even realize it. They further promote the brand (subconsciously) by adding pictures like this, broadcasting it to their followers as well:
On a psychological level, people will start to believe a company is more current and ahead of the curve if they’re keeping up with technological advances.
Not to mention it’s a great way to introduce new products.
Critics complain that people “spend so much time trying to capture and edit pictures that they don’t realize they’re missing out on the actual moment.” Furthermore, while 40% of the Interbrand 100 now have a profile, Instagram’s mobile focus turns away potential users who don’t have a smart phone.
Regardless, Instagram is, without a double, changing the way “photos are snapped and shared.”