Instagram to usher in ‘a bold new era of citizen journalism’?
In previous months when explaining a (then not as large) Instagram to brands, we generally summed it up as a ‘visual Twitter.’ After all, a lot of the conventions from hash-tags to asynchronous follower relationships are the same.
It turns out Instagram boss Kevin Systrom has much the same idea, at least when it comes to Twitter currently positioning itself as a source of breaking news and media in its own right.
Back in 2009 Twitter boss Evan Williams laid out his vision as Twitter being the “pulse of the planet.”
What about Instagram? In an interview with pandodaily last month, Kevin Systrom said that Instagram would usher in a “bold new era of citizen journalism”, and that unlike Twitter his Facebook-owned service would “tell the world’s stories in a rich, visual way.”
A few things around that. First of all, Twitter is acutely aware of the need to integrate visuals into tweets, hence recent moves to start offering its own photo-filters
Secondly, no doubt about it, Instagram is being used as a form of visual live reporting. Exhibit A, Hurricane Sandy, which saw 800k images being tagged and uploaded. So yes, Kevin Systrom and Facebook are in a sense building a competitor to Twitter via Instagram.
Third, I see an opportunity for other more niche photo networks. Thanksgiving in the US was Instagram’s busiest day ever, with 200 photos being uploaded every second at one point. Great if you like Thanksgiving, which is obviously a mass market, populist (in the US) occasion.
Not everyone does though, and just like some online video users escape to Vimeo to avoid endless Gangnam style tributes on YouTube, Instagram’s positioning (which makes perfect sense for them), provides an opening for services which position themselves more on the quality as opposed to the scale of the content.
Above repost from Statigram, via @chris_tighe
- Instagram beats Twitter in daily mobile users. Engagement significantly higher (liesdamnedliesstatistics.com)
- For me, Instagram isn’t the new Twitter. It’s a more functional Path (pandodaily.com)
- That’s a lot of pie pics: Instagram records fall on Thanksgiving (mercurynews.com)
- Could Sandy be Instagram’s big citizen journalism moment? (pandodaily.com)