The Magnetic Charm of Instagram

Smarter image sharing in a smart-phone-camera world


Because so many of us are pulling out our smart phones to snap a photograph rather than our point-and-shoot cameras, photo sharing apps are wildly popular right now.  Instagram is the fan favorite.  Its simple with an enormous social community and its sixteen well-designed photo filters make it fun. When you upload a photo to Instagram, you can easily share it on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tublr, Foursquare and Posterous, something many other photo sharing apps fail to offer. And, it's free.



This iPhone photo-sharing app turned one this week and has already attracted over 10 million users, taking half the ramp up time it took Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Nearly 80 people per minute join the photo sharing community on IG (that's what we call Instagram, on Instagram.) Co-founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the Instagram team is smart but small comprised of half a dozen people only.

For me, it's a little life mosaic. Here are a few ways the cool little app has affected me:

It changed the way I see the world around me. Sure, I pull the car over to snap a pic of a well-rusted fire hydrant or a sun-kissed building. Ordinary things are suddenly beautiful. I spent many years avoiding shooting power lines. With Instagram, textures, lines, and city scenes are artfully captured. I've been looking at the world a little differently since I downloaded the Instagram app.

I want to post-process everything. When I am not traversing the world with my iPhone, I'm typically in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. Instagram nailed the fun of filters in the way Get Totally Rad Actions rocked with the PS action sets. Half the fun of the app is bringing in a photo and hopping it up with a little Nashville pastel tone or Lomo-fi color pop. Make sure you update your app. Cool new filters like Valencia, Amaro and Rise were added but that's not all of What's New in V2.0.1.

I've become square aware. I now think inside the box. Composition and its rule of thirds is upended with the little square photo. It made me try new compositions, disregard composition and see the rules anew. Square is the new black.

I've found something I love more than Twitter.  Photo social media. There are other photo sharing apps, indeed. Yet, the community of amateur and professional photographers have flocked to Instagram and are totally engaging. The design of the app makes it so easy to follow, like and comment.  Here's what fellow IGers say:



Ultimately, Instagram is all about connecting and sharing. Want to check out some fun Instagram users? Here are some of my recommendations:


We would love to hear your thoughts about Instagram. How has it affected you?  Please post your comments below!

Leigh Caraccioli



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