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The Development Of Instagram As A Social Media Tool

4895 words - 20 pages

The Development of Instagram as a Social Media Tool
Introduction
More than twenty years after its commercial launch, the internet is now an important distribution channel, as well as an essential basis for consumer information and empowerment. The rise of the social and digital media has revolutionized the online environment tremendously. Novel applications for social correspondence are replacing the traditional mass print media. The social media landscape is an ephemeral place. New networks emerge every time, and it is almost impossible to keep track of what works and what does not work. With the many social media applications, the rise of online visual content sharing has brought about ...view middle of the document...

Instagram as a Social Media Tool
Instagram (formed by joining the words “instant” and “telegram”) refers to a social networking site that permits users to take videos and photographs and share them on other social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, and Tumblr. Launched in 2010, Instagram was developed by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. The site soon became popular, attaining 100 million by the end of 2012, and surpassing 300 million users as of December 2014 (Briz, B., & Rose, D. 2015, 183). Instagram users can upload short videos and photographs, geotag images (with with the name of the location or real latitude and longitude coordinates), and follow other Instagram users. Instagam releases the top ten geo-tagged locations in pictures every year. Among the prominent features of the site is that users are able to connect their accounts to other SNSs, such as Facebook and Twitter, which enables them to share uploaded pictures to these sites. Some twenty-six percent of adults use Instagram, which represented a rise from a figure of seventeen percent in 2013 (Duggan, M., Ellison, N. B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. 2015, 1). Most conspicuously, fifty-three percent of young adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine are now on the social networking site. Instagram introduced web profiles that permitted users to engage their Instagram account as a social media site in 2012. This allowed users access to a profile that features recently shared biological information, photographs, as well as other personal details. Moreover, the site also has a web feed, which is a simplified version of the phone application that imitates the feels and looks of the experience provided by the app.
To enhance the social media experience, Instagram added a feature called Instagram Direct in 2013, which permitted its users to share photos and private messages with a specific user, or up to fifteen other users. Prior to the introduction of Instagram Direct, all users would view the messages and images sent by a specific user (Magid, L. 2013, 1). Instagram had only two ways of filtering who could see the videos and images. The default was ‘public’, which meant that anyone could follow a user and view all their posts. However, users also had the option of approving their followers, although all followers could still see any post. With the introduction of Instagram Direct, users can now send private messages to other users, or group of users (Magid, L. 2013, 1). In addition, users can comment on the message, which can only be viewed by the other users who the message has been sent. For instance, if a user sends a multimedia message (photo or video) to ten people, all of them can view any comments made on that message. This was a response to the reputation and popularity of other services such as Snapchat. Instagram has also included the “explore” tab on the app that has elicited a lot of interest and enthusiasm among its users....

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