Why Instagram Is The Ideal Social Network for Creatives

Move over Facebook with your clunky interface, Linked In with your business suit, blogging with your five steps to anything and everything, and Twitter with your 140 character limit—there’s a social networking debutante in town and her name is Instagram. She’s only two years old and can already hold her own with the E*Trade baby.

Last February at re:create Nashville, when I asked my fellow creative Leeland (who is the ripe old age of 24 and a musical prodigy to boot) his Twitter name, he replied, “Oh I don’t use Twitter, Randy, to contact me you need Instagram. So, I finally get it. I get it, already.

Here’s why I think Instagram is the ideal social network for creatives:

1. The Question. While Twitter asks what are you doing, Instagram asks who are you being.  

2. The Emotion. Instagram is about how you feel not what you are thinking, art lets you feel first and then if it’s worthy it makes you think.

2. The Photos. Every creative has an inner photographer waiting to get out and Instagram is all about the photo. Instagram brings out the artist in all of us. And it makes us look…good!

3. The Filters. Even a subpar photo comes alive when the right Instagram filter is applied. Every creative loves looking at things differently and the ingenious filters give you options to do just that. I would venture to say your choice of favorite filter says a lot about you. My favorite at this moment is Hefe. What is yours?

4. Ease of Use. In the complicated world of creativity simplicity is everything. The easy Instagram interface is sheer genius. Likes are primary, comments are secondary. Even though Facebook invented the social networking concept of “likes,”  Instagram has perfected it.  (Hmmm, maybe that’s why Facebook became Instagram’s patron saint for a mere billion dollars.) With Facebook, comments are primary, but with Instagram comments are an afterthought at best. The number of “likes” you get on Instagram determines the popularity of the photo, not the comments.  And the choice to include a caption is optional. You see, the folks at Instagram, much like Pinterest, understand that if a picture paints a thousand words, sometimes its best not to screw it up with words.

5. The Connectivity.  With five quick finger swipes of simple virtual on/off buttons,  my work of art goes to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare. And, yes!!!! As of a few days ago, I can now add Instagram as an app to my Hootsuite interface and easily follow the stream of my fellow Instagram creatives for the first time on my desktop.

To paraphrase the words of Georgia O’Keefe: “I found I could say things with photographs that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.”

To paraphrase the words of Devin: “Art is your photos streaming in an Instagram app.”

Question: Are You Using Instagram? If so, what crucial aspect have I missed? If you are not…why?

4 Responses to “Why Instagram Is The Ideal Social Network for Creatives”

  1. I think Instagram is my favorite online community. And I agree with everything you said. I actually found IG in November of 2010 and shared it with Rich Kirkpatrick at recreate11. Wow, you mean I early adopted something before Randy Elrod? I’m so proud, and shame on me for not showing it to you earlier.


  2. This post really resonates with me. I feel like I relate w/ people better through Instagram photos than I do scrolling through the variety of stuff they post–and other people post about them–on Facebook. Also, I’ve found that Instagram doesn’t pose as much of a comparison-envy trap as Facebook does. Also, I’ve made some fun connections with people on Instagram that I probably wouldn’t have through a cold email or call, simply because we have similar interests that are evident in each other’s imagery. Those things are what broke the ice and opened the dialogue.

Created by Randy Elrod

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