Social media is an interesting paradox. On one hand, it’s really easy to use, and its strength lies in the fact that almost anyone can use it. (Not everyone should, mind you, but there’s nothing we can do to stop that!) On the other hand, though, to do it well, to stand out from the crowd and make sure your message gets heard. . . . That’s a lot harder. Hopefully over the years of reading the CTS blog, you’ve learned a trick or two and you’ve gotten a solid foothold in at least one social media community. (If you’re looking for some tips to get started, check out the archives.)
Instagram has made a lot of changes in the past two years. This photo-sharing app has come a long way from its early days of square photos, heavy filters, and jagged borders. What used to be an app that was used to share photos to other social media sites has become a standalone app that many people use as their primary social media account. Millennials and Gen Z-ers especially are locked in on Instagram rather than Facebook.
If there’s one constant in the world of technology and communication, it’s that things change. This is especially true when you have technologies that involve communication and where rapid development is rewarded with public interest, market share and, hopefully, profit. It’s probably not a surprise, then, that the landscape of social media continues to shift rapidly, and it’s easy to get lost in the details. Whether you’re a church beginning to dip your toe in the social media world or a seasoned professional trying to discover the next right thing to focus on, it’s important to have a high level view of the terrain going forward.
The Instagram app (sometimes fondly known as Insta) was originally designed with simple editing features. You selected a photo, applied one of a few nonadjustable filters, and posted. Done!
I have a lot of apps on my phone. I’ve crammed most of them into folders and relegated them to the last page, since I only open them once in a blue moon. But Instagram? That little app sits in the bottom row on the front page (a place of honor, since it’s right where my short fingers can reach it when using my phone one-handed).
I am completely obsessed with Instagram. It’s probably because I have narcissistic tendencies and enjoy posting pictures of myself or my delicious dinner.
Like Twitter, Instagram has a younger demographic than Facebook. It’s a social networking app that only contains pictures and captions. Celebrities, bloggers, and teenagers fill the app with photos of their friends, their food, and their faces (Instagram is the home of the selfie).