Instagram is a photo-sharing app that has taken the social media world by storm having earned some 2 million registered users and growing.
Photo sharing isn’t new, but Instagram is different in two key respects.
First, it is available only on an iPhone.
Unlike Flickr, Instagram does not offer a platform for you to share photos, rather it provides a utility to easily augment them with a different look and then share it on your existing platforms – say Twitter, email or Facebook.
This utility is the second key difference and what I like about it is the ability to accent their photos with a hint of nostalgia.
For example, it turned this photo:
Into this photo:
In other words, it helps amateur photographers with merely an iPhone, produce captivating images.
The company seems to be committed to building a community for the long haul. Instagram has recently developed a MeetUp group called “Instameet” and encourages users to use the hashtage #instatmeet.
When I sent my email inquiry on February 26th, this group had 176 “instagrammers” in 88 cities. Tonight, as I write this post, they have 375 instagrammers in 154 cities.
While it’s a relatively small number compared to the company’s 8,000+ Facebook fans, or 93,000 Twitter followers, the MeetUp group is an exceptionally creative PR idea because:
1) it provides its large base of users a self-managed forum to meet with like-minded users;
2) in the tightknit and passionate world of photography – from hobbies tot expert — this group is likely to grow deep roots;
3) it creates advocates by engaging users on a grand, yet low cost, scale while allowing them to be part of something larger than the company itself.
Perhaps most importantly is the fourth reason: such events encourage users to share ideas and facilitates the creative use of its tool.
It’s a good technique for anyone launching an app. Instagram might seem like an overnight success, but make no mistake it had a ground game.
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Photo credit(s): Instagram.com/frankstrong