1. Profile photo of Amy Turman

    InstagramInstagram is that photo sharing social media platform that allows you to add cool and trendy filters to your photos and publish them to a network of people. Your photos can be followed by anyone, and you can follow the photos of the rich and famous (or just your friends if you’re not into following celebs).

    However, the question is: is Instagram actually useful? A lot of people claim that we don’t need another photo sharing platform because we already have Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Should we just use this for the filters and publish on our pre-existing social media platforms, or is it really a great way to connect with and engage people for both personal and branding purposes?

    Trendy, Fun, Interactive

    Instagram is undoubtedly interactive and now it’s accessible by the majority of mobile users since they released Instagram for Android on April 4, 2012. Now instagram is not just a special club for iPhone users, but includes Android users.

    It’s easy to comment, like, and publish to other social networks. There are options to add filters to make your photos more vibrant or antique looking, as well as a toggle option to automatically brighten your photo. They also have a smart camera that allows you to take photos that are automatically cropped to the instagram signature square.

    Instagram
    (photo via NY Times)

    But is it worth signing up for and using as another social network?

    Instagram Pros: Instagram opens you up to a whole new network of people. I just joined yesterday (when it was released on Android) and already people who are not in my other networks are liking my photos and commenting on them. It’s a great way to open up your network and brand yourself based on your mobile photography skills. You can also easily import your friends list and share on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Tumblr.

    Instagram Cons: My main concern is whether or not this app will have longevity. Right now it is the trendy thing to do to filter and share photos, but it may not stick as technology develops, etc. Plus it will be easy for other copycat apps to come out with the equivalent or something better – Instagram got lucky because they branded themselves as trendy. It’s almost a genius marketing ploy to only be released on iPhone because it makes the Android users (stereotypically less trendy as a whole) want the artsy app that all of their iPhone friends are using.

    The Verdict

    While instagram may not be the best platform in terms of the potential spread (it’s limited to people who download the app), it’s still shared on other social media platforms. If you are "connected" whatsoever online and are working to interact with others and build up a brand, you cannot miss out on instagram (even if it may be short-lived – but then again aren’t most social networks on a timeline, like MySpace?). Plus (at least on the new Android app) it saves all of your photos to a friendly little folder on your phone. Why not give in to this trend? It’s fun, and makes everyone feel a little bit more creative.

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