A Year of Instagram


One of the biggest social media platforms in the first quarter of the century, Instagram is focused on photos and hashtags. To post something, you need a picture. It’s great in a way to visual show your interests and offers a bit of a creative outlet. Though a year on, I’m kind of done with it. What got me down is my feed which is smartly curated in the wrong way.

In a community of millions in every continent, you do see a lot of interesting things and the aggregation of unsaturated keywords brings you in to a personal space. Anything can be a hashtag, even a sentence can be a tag. In this part, there are a lot to discover even though 10 tags convey the same meaning. With thousands of of pictures uploaded even something artistic as photography, stuff gets buried deep into the service.

As much as social media brings the world together with facts and opinions of others, the democratization makes the creative aspect of photography gears more to pressure for content of the similar. I see it often and it’s painful to look at after awhile and it gets boring. To sum it up to help you avoid the photography community on Instagram – oversaturated, heavily photoshopped and lacks any character. I’ve seen many reflections of puddles with a subject but Instagram has really push for the highly saturated colour and the lacking of contrast. Then those that are heavy into the contrast in an idea (Example: love/hate) or a creative element (Example: positive/negative space) seem to be relatively similar regardless of subject. It’s numbing and the bot and aggregate accounts really make this problem well known.

Probably most of the time they’re not all automated accounts, but aggregate accounts really are pretty annoying since they share other accounts. As I stated before, most of these photos are all the same. Then at the same time some of these aggregates to post, have to reupload that photo and then tag anew. So in a way, it’s a new post to attract the followers of that account and doesn’t really showcase the photographer. A flaw!

That is why I only post things I don’t potentially can profit from. Instagram when I first started and now, is the last part of my publishing workflow. Facebook is where I keep my digital JPEG archive, 500px is where I can license and keep a better curated portfolio, Instagram is the trash heap where the best didn’t make it to the best 7 for 500px. It’s a system that works so far. I haven’t made money but I have licensed by work. As much as I want to get my name out there for potential clients and employers, I rather keep my work in my control in some way.

Like my Twitter now, Instagram might fade away from me if there is nothing for me. Though both have a large community, I feel the community is less engaged and only want to consume the content than to appreciate it. And that’s where I will continue from in year 2.

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