By: Aleksandra Vasić, Senior Media Planner at Direct Media
I am writing from the perspective of an average millennial, reluctant to admit (but does nonetheless!) that the first thing she looks at when she opens her eyes in the morning is her phone. And it’s not email that she checks first — it’s Instagram. Guilty on all counts.
How many times a day does your hand automatically take your phone and unlock it with your right thumb, your left all set to hit the pink icon? How many times you ended up scrolling through the app, hazy about whether you intended to open Instagram or did it on autopilot? If you find these situations familiar, not to worry — you’re most certainly not alone.
Instagram is like that kid in the family who nabbed the parents’ best qualities and who also doesn’t shy away from slyly taking credit from its siblings — Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest — without raising too much dust. The favorite out of all social media that gets away with anything.
Just remember what Instagram was like in the beginning. Images were confined to a square aspect ratio and ten filters — no stories (Snapchat), no business pages (Facebook), no boards (Pinterest) …
Since September 2017, the number of Instagram users has grown by 200 million. In June 2018, Instagram celebrated reaching one billion users and became member of the ten-digit club, joining Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Although Facebook is still the Queen B of social media in the world (as well as in this region), both by the number of users and by the time spent on it, Instagram is the only social media platform that is seeing a significant rise in the number of users. In Serbia, this growth is not lagging too behind that on the global scale percentually. Quite the opposite. In the same period (September 2017–June 2018), the total number of Instagram users grew by 25%, while in Serbia the jump was 26%.
How did Instagram manage to take all the glory?
Facebook! At a time when images are replacing status updates, Instagram offers an added advantage of enhancing your photo by clicking on one of the filters.
Snapchat! Designed for sending short private videos with face filters to one or several friends. Instagram Story likes this.
Pinterest! It enables you to save your interests and inspiration in your boards in the form of images. Instagram Save to Collection likes this.
Instagram, this is You Tube. You Tube, meet Instagram. IGTV likes this.
I am writing from the perspective of an average millennial, reluctant to admit (but does nonetheless!) that the first thing she looks at when she opens her eyes in the morning is her phone. And it’s not email that she checks first — it’s Instagram. Guilty on all counts. From stories and lives to to IGTV, we’re more often than not finding new reasons to open the app. Instagram introduces new, bigger changes gradually, but it’s always demanding our attention with those small feature treats and increaing the time we spend on the app. Through the new possibilities offered by Story, Instagram is deepening the features that are tasked with retrieving other people’s opinions for the user. How much do they agree with you, how much do they like your photo in your story, how funny they find what you posted, or which of the two options you prefer? And the latest, “Ask me a question.”
It seems that Instagram is well versed in creating the optimal mix of competitors’ and in-house ideas, and their sense of timing is flawless. Instagram copied other social media’s character traits, made them better, and got away with it. Not fair? When Andy Warhol was asked at a conference about the statement that his art could not be considered original, he responded in his trademark melancholic voice that he agreed. The reporter followed up, “But why don’t you make something new and original?” Warhol replied, “Because this is easier.”
End of story. Pop Art’s Elvis has left the building.