TECH: The Rise of Instagram

By Maddy Shippen,
HUB Correspondent–

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Instagram is a social network people use to share their life with their friends and family through a series of pictures.  It’s used by snapping a photo with your phone and choosing a filter to transform your image.

“I try to make my pictures look like art,” senior Hannah Nielsen said.

The population of Instagram has seen a major increase since it was first launched on Oct. 6, 2010. “Instagram is now becoming pretty mainstream,” Nielsen said.

In April 2012, Facebook bought the app for about a billion dollars.  Since Facebook’s purchase the daily usage of Instagram has risen from 860,000 to 7.3 million users. Its current growing rate is nearly 5 million new users a week.

Some people only download Instagram just because their friends have one. Some like senior Josh Sherwin think, “It’s pointless, you can just put [the pictures] on Facebook.”

Others disagree,  “It’s a quick connection to people you don’t really see often,” senior Sarah Strutzel said. “I like seeing what my brother [who lives San Luis Obispo] is up to through his pictures on Instagram.”

While some use it for connection, others may use it for art.   “I consider photography an art form so I’ll actually try to make my pictures look like art.” Nielsen said.

“It’s addicting because of all the beautiful art,” sophomore Irene Rutazihana said.

Like any other social network, the popularity of Instagram comes with disadvantages.   Since Instagram mainly attracts teenagers and not adults, some tend to post unsuitable pictures instead of things like art. “A lot of girls post inappropriate pictures to get likes and followers,” Strutzel said.

Instagram encourages users not only for following friends and family members but some use it for following celebrities, Youtubers, artists and more.  “It’s exciting to keep up with your favorite celebrity’s personal life.” Rutazihana said. The most followed celebrity Instagram users include Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian.

You can follow people on Twitter but the visual image of people’s life is what makes Instagram rise. “Words are boring,” Nielsen said, “Words paint a picture but pictures are self-explanatory and are able to self-interpret.”


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