Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have brought everyone in the world together. Especially on Instagram, this world has created “Instagram famous” people—including Isabel King ’14 (@kingandthequeen) and Manuel Lorenzino ’14 (@sir_zino). Both have over 1,000 Instagram followers, a pretty large following, and work hard on the their pictures. They have gained Instagram notoriety as the trend in social media moves away from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, with Instagram gaining 50 million new members is the past six months.
According to Isabel and Manuel, Facebook is much more personal and contains too much of the past, and with every status you worry about how many “likes” you will get. On Twitter, they say, you don’t have to try to be clever; few people respond to your tweets because it is so much about following celebrities.
How do Manuel and Isabel gain so many Instagram followers, but not Twitter followers or Facebook friends? Instagram has the perfect balance of an impersonal and personal social life. On Instagram, you can gain your impersonal followers who follow you just because you use a certain hashtag.
There are also days characterized by hashtags like “#selfiesunday” and “#throwbackthursday” that encourage users to post more often on specific days of the week. Instagram is also now a form of art and self-expression that people with a lot of followers take seriously.
Why do some people have so many followers, but not nearly as many people who like their pictures? Each group of followers can be different, and some followers will never like your pictures. In Manuel’s opinion, most pictures have “to look effortless, [because] it’s cool if you look effortless.”
Isabel’s rationale for some pictures get more likes than others is that once a picture hits a certain amount of likes, it’s easier to gain more. The initial likes can be the hardest because it might not be “cool” yet. She says that whether or not kids know this, they tend to think that if “other people think this is cool, therefore I should think this is cool.” Both agree that Sunday is the best day to post, because kids are at home and bored so they will check their Instagram more often.
So where will social media take us next? We saw Vine, a platform for six-second videos, make an appearance, but it did not take off like the other three social media sites. Another big social media outlet will surely arise. But for now, Instagram is on top.