Instagram, the long-time iPhone-only app, recently came out with an Android version and then got acquired by Facebook. Plenty of people got all pissy about it because it might “ruin it.” Hopefully it will remain the amazing app it is. For now I see it as the more the merrier.
Instagram is pretty much my favorite app. Now I enjoy a good game of Draw Something and Words with Friends and I won’t deny my admiration of the Starbucks app in developing customer loyalty. But despite all that, Instagram is my favorite and all awesome people should be using it. Why? Well let me tell you five reasons you should download Instagram now.
1. It’s like a photo diary of your daily life.
Now be wary, I might get a little deep and sappy here. As someone who lives and plans life from big moment to big moment, Instagram makes me appreciate the smaller moments of my everyday. From time to time I look at my photo feed as a whole and appreciate the beauty of each day from the sunrise on that early morning drive, to my pup watching snowflakes fall, to random joy I find at the office. “Just another cup of coffee” or “that bouquet that’s going to wilt tomorrow” becomes a little artistic pick me up that lives beyond that moment in my memory. When we’re not looking, time flies, and I don’t want to look back at days, months or years of my life and forget the things that shape me, however small. Okay, cheesiness done.
2. It makes your phone photos looks pretty sweet.
They always say the best camera is the one you have with you. Let’s face it, in this day and age I don’t carry my beautiful Nikon SLR (appropriately named “the baby”) with me everywhere, but you will rarely see me without my iPhone. Even when I don’t have service. I know, I’m “that girl.” That all being said, my phone takes pretty decent photos and is there to click away at a moment’s notice. With Instagram you can then add filters, enhancements, and/or the appearance of shallow depth of field (that blurry back or foreground that makes it look like it was taken with an SLR). Then instantly share with your other social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, email, Posterous) or just with your Instagrammers.
4. It’s a creative outlet.
When I was little I used to lay awake at night, not able to sleep because I had creativity that I needed to let out. I’m always looking for a way to do, share, and create. Whether for a little mid-day therapy or just because I saw something amazing, Instagram lets the creativity out. And it’s #instagood.
4. You can connect with the world through images.
Now the three reasons I named before are reason enough, but here’s where Instagram gets really cool in my opinion — the community. As humans, images are one of the things we can connect to across cultures, languages and other barriers. Photos evoke emotions and while I may live an entirely different life as someone across the country or globe, we may both react the same to a photo. You can choose to set your photos to private and share with a small group of approved friends, but I feel the experience is most rewarding when shared with others in the community. I may have never had a conversation with someone I follow, but I feel through their images I get to know them. They get a peek into the beauty of my life and I get a peek into theirs.
5. You can connect your images through hashtags.
A few weeks ago my friends called me a “hashtag whore.” I cried a little bit. And then I told them why #hashtagsareawesome! Hashtags help you connect with others in the Instagram community. Similar to Twitter, Flickr, etc, they categorize your photos so you can connect like images such as #travel, #breakfast, #iphoneography, or #dogsofinstagram. There are also photo challenges that use these tags to share with others that participate. Basically it’s a good way to start sharing with a wider range of people. If you want to check out some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, you can see the top 100 here.
So to sum it up, Instagram is fun and also free. Download it and then follow me @amfairbanks. Let’s be friends (pretty please with a cherry on top)! What’s your Instahandle?