I admit it: I’m hooked into a few social networks these days and even bought into the whole Klout thing that measures my influence on these networks (and quickly bought out of it when I realised how obsessive I was about my Klout score falling) and to say that I’m totally hooked is a bit like saying that heroin is a nice “once in a while jaunt in the park”. I’m nothing short of unabashedly addicted.
However the one that has captured me the most is Instagram. With its immediate snapshot update way of sharing the world, it has truly amassed a membership that MySpace only ever dreamed of. And at the same time, has captured the imagination of many users - I’d rather see a photo than a mundane Facebook status update of “I got up and bought a coke.” Let’s face it, no one fucking cares about that.
So while holidaying in Sweden a few weeks ago, I took some photos of a rather amazing hotel where we stayed (it is truly remarkable, check out www.treehotel.se), and while I have very (if not extremely) modest following on Instagram, I managed to get 10 likes on a photo I posted. Yes, I hash tagged, but I generally do that to well, remind myself of the photo’s context.
So imagine my surprise today when my iPhone started vibrating like a lonely person’s vibrator with Instagram notifications. I started getting about 5 likes per second on a photo that I posted five weeks ago. And this, I kid you not, has been going for the last hour or so. Yes, that’s right, about 300 likes in an hour. And it’s still going.
So I decided to head on in and see what on earth was causing this. And imagine to my surprise: it looked like the Instagram application had posted a photo of the hotel, and soon everyone was searching for photos of this place. And recommending it to other users and so on. While 100+ likes on a photo does not a viral champagne make, to me, it’s like the world had descended on my photos and had given me two enthusiastic thumbs up. And still are.
So while I hear about these social networks being rubbished all the time and how Facebook’s investment in Instagram was a bit of a rubbish investment, it’s definitely allowed me to share some marvellous memories and dare I say it, some fucking awesome photos. After all if 200+ Instagrammers believe it, why shouldn’t I?
PS: if you want to see said photos: I’m user JTCF1981. Nothing like a bit of shameless self promotion on my blog.