Insta-GREAT?

I have social media envy right now, you guys. I put all my chips on “BlackBerry” two years ago, signing onto a contract that I’m not getting out of anytime soon. Because of this, the pseudo-photographer in me is dying. I used to have fun taking silly pictures and uploading them to Twitter, or Facebook. But I don’t bother anymore, because even if I did, no one would see them.

Why? Cause they’re all too darn busy on Instagram.

All my iPhone friends are off taking stunning sepia tone photos of their breakfasts, while I’m struggling (for three hours) to get the freaking flash to turn on. C’est la vie. Whatever. If anyone wants to BBM or compare BrickBreaker scores, I’m your guy. Nope. Not bitter at all.

That said, Instagram user or not, I am familiar with the Instagram logo by now. That cute little off-white square with the lens, and the rainbow stripes. And wouldn’t you know that the icon is designed too look like an actual camera, too? Go figure! Stealing the aesthetic and killing the art form in one clean, swift, viral blow. Think of it as the talented Mr. Ripley of photography. I am exaggerating here, obviously, but Mashable made an infographic showing the affects of smart phones on the art form, and the numbers don’t lie. A shift is happening.

Now, what does this mean for companies trying to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media? Does your brand need an Instagram account? For certain businesses, it can be insanely beneficial.  Instagram is a completely mobile platform. You have to be out in the world, and looking to document things happening around you. It forces you to keep your eyes open. It serves its purpose for the right companies, such as Red Bull, who avidly keeps up with its followers, or for a small bakery, who uses the app to keep its local following updated on the delicious creations they’re making. The conversation is also there, similar to Twitter. Search the hashtag #Bacardi150 and see the hundreds of photos relating Bacardi celebrating their 150th birthday.

The verdict is in. People are using Instagram. Now you need to look at your business and try to decide if it’s right for your online initiatives. Odds are, you’ll see that it is. After all, if a billion dollar buy out from Facebook doesn’t convince you that this ap’s got staying power, then nothing will. Not even me.

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