Thoughts on Social Media: Instagram

Released in 2010, Instagram was an immediate success and allowed people from around the world to share photos of their daily lives with friends, family, and followers. Within a a year, they had gained over 10 million followers and became Apple App of the year.

In order to compete with Snapchat, Instagram began their “Stories”, which allows users to capture 10 second slips to share to their “story” that disappear after 24 hours, just like Snapchat.

Photojournalist are now able to reach a massive audience and gain followers for their stories. Time Magazine, National Geographic, NPR, CNN, and other major news outlets can use multiple photos in a post with the “carousel”, along with hashtags and tagging other users to truly tell a story in depth and more effectively than ever before. Instagram gives journalist a new, refreshing, impactful way to show their stories through permanent posts or live clips in the Stories feature. Crowdsourcing is also a huge part of how journalist use Instagram, but asking users to upload their own photos and add a hashtag in order to create news buzz around a certain topic or event.

As useful as Instagram has become to journalist, it has its fair share of pitfalls as well. Often times, photos are shared and reposted without any acknowledgement to the original photographer. It has become increasingly difficult to know the original source, what the facts truly are, and what was originally the intended meaning for the news piece.

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