In our second edition of Fun Friday, one of our interns Amy breaks down the popular app Instagram. Enjoy your weekend!
Instagram: The New Social Media Network on the Block
There has been a lot of talk in recent months about one of the newest trends in social media, an app called Instagram. Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter, then share it on a variety of social networking services, including Instagram’s own. Some major brands have begun using Instagram to advertise and many are showing positive results. The app already has seven million users all over the world and that number is rising.
A Brief History
Instagram was developed in San Francisco by Systrom and Mike Krieger and the Instagram app was launched in iTunes on October 6, 2010. It was intitally supported on Appel’s iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone and in April of 2012 it expanded to the Android market. Since the launch Instagram has added features like hashtags, new and live filters, instant tilt shift, high resolution photos, optional borders, one click rotation and an updated icon. Instagram was named Apple’s “App of the Year” in 2011. In April of this year, Facebook made an offer to purchase Instagram, with its 13 employees, for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock.
How Brands are Using Instagram
Many big brands are using Instagram to illustrate their products, publicize events and launch campaigns. Burberry, one of the first brands to sign-up with Instagram, uses Instagram to show case the products they build.
This app allows Burberry to Share real-time images from London fashion shows instead of just Tweeting about it. Burberry also takes its ads through the Instagram filter, to create uniquely and engaging content that doesn’t feel so much like advertising. Events like the Grammys and the Sundance Festival are using Instagram to share behind-the-scenes photos and the Sundance Festival cleverly encouraged users to tag their Instagram photos “Sundance 2012” as a sort of visual check-in that was basically free advertising.
Saks Fifth Avenue invited shoppers to come to their stores and photograph one item they couldn’t live without with Instagram then tell everyone what makes it so special and why they want it and by including hashtag #SeeUAtSaks they could win $1,000. This marketing strategy is brilliant because it encourages both online and offline engagement, it is essentially free advertising and the Instagram photos get shared on Facbook and Twitter feeds thus gaining them access to friend networks.
Along with retailers, many sports teams are joining Instagram to give fans an inside look at their organization. Below are a few pictures from the Boston Celtics (which boasts over 4,500 followers), the Boston Bruins and the San Francisco Giants.
Do you have an Instagram account? Do you follow any brands?