I finally gave in and signed up for an Instagram account a little over a week ago (edit: this post was originally written in January 2017). I’ve never been crazy about social media, but I accept that this is the new reality. Everything that happens in society today, happens on social media. If it isn’t on Facebook, did it really happen? Any business that knows anything about marketing has a social media presence. Some businesses even have full-time employees or even an entire division dedicated entirely to dealing with all the tweets, likes and pins.
I’m a photographer. While I’ve had Facebook and Twitter accounts for CM Images for a while (and even a Pinterest page, although I still have no idea how that thing works), Instagram really seems like the obvious one. If I were to only be on one platform, Instagram seems like the no-brainer. The whole point of the thing is to share photos. So I finally signed up: you can find me @cm_images_photography.
As I said, it’s been about a week since starting. So here are my initial thoughts on Instagram as a whole. And since I’ve read that the Internet likes lists, I have decided to present my findings in a nice, easy-to-read, list format.
Things I Like About Instagram
- It’s easy. This isn’t exactly an application that requires a degree in rocket science. There isn’t a whole lot to be confused about. The main page has all the possible options at the bottom.
- The first thing you see is a photo from one of your followers. There’s no need to navigate to find photos; just scroll down.
- Finding people is easy. Just tap the magnifying glass.
- If you’re looking at thumbnails on someone’s profile, you don’t need to open each image to see it. You can simply tap and hold to get an enlarged view.
Things I Don’t Like About Instagram
- It seems to chew up a ton of battery power on my tablet if I leave it open.
- I like typing on a real, properly-sized keyboard. Touch-screen keyboards annoy the *unpleasant word here* out of me. Instagram, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to make it impossible to post photos from its website. This means I can’t upload, describe and hashtag my photos from the comfort of a real computer. I have no choice but to use the app on my tablet. This means that I have to transfer an edited photo from my computer to my tablet so that I can then upload it to Instagram.
- Oddly, it’s actually easier to check how many likes and comments my photos have on the website than it is with the app. This is weird considering that on the site, they say to use the app for the best experience.
So far, so good. People seem to be pleasant and positive in their commenting, which encourages me to post more stuff. A big problem I had with PhotoSig (which is no longer around, I hadn’t been there in years and wasn’t even sure if it still existed so I looked it up while writing this) was that everyone was hyper-critical. The Instagram community seems to be more encouraging. This might be because it’s not a dedicated community just for photographers. Hopefully it remains an enjoyable experience. So, to quote Genesis (the band, not the book): “I will follow you. Will you follow me?”.