Instagram is now one of the world’s largest social networks. The 700 million people using the app have shared more than 40 billion photos since its launch in October 2010.
Despite now being owned by Facebook, Instagram has retained its own identity. Much of this is down to the way it is designed.
Instagram encourages its users to curate their life experiences by carefully choosing which photos to share and then individually applying filters and other edits to perfect each one.
It can be a rewarding experience. I love to scroll back through time and be reminded of some of the places I have visited.
Likewise, it is great to see what my friends are doing on their travels. It is a brilliant way to discover new things.
Businesses are increasingly waking up to this trend and brands are starting to create ‘Instagram friendly’ experiences in a bid to attract attention on the platform.
Instagram is influencing the way chefs present food, how interior designers decorate venues, and even how architects approach new buildings.
Travel companies are now designing tours to enable visitors to pack in as many Instagram-perfect shots as possible.
The Instagram effect is apparent in advertising too, as brands shift away from brightly lit technically perfect photography to grittier more authentic-looking images of the kind made with filters in the app.
One enterprising company in Moscow has even created a business where people can rent a grounded Gulfstream 65 private jet for envy-inducing Instagram photoshoots of a perfectly captured and totally fake luxury lifestyle.