why instagramming is not that bad

I love the Instagram app, there, I said it! but before you hit the close button thinking this post to be a joke , hear me out on why Instagram is the best thing that happened to phone cameras!

Before Instagram, not many people used to take their phone cameras seriously, it was hardly used to take creative photos, and whatever photos were clicked using a phone cam used to just wither away in the phone memory cards, they hardly got shared on social networks. But, Instagram changed all this! and perhaps that’s why everyone knows about their rise to fame at the Apple app-store and then the overly-hyped-and-reported billion dollar acquisition by Facebook.

The app made me realize that the megapixel count of the camera doesn’t make a difference, all one needs to do to be a good photographer is be creative! Very few apps have an impact level similar to that of Instagram.

Here are some fun facts about Instagram –

  • Instagram launched as an iPhone app in Apple’s App Store on October 6, 2010. By December 2010, Instagram had one million registered users (it took foursquare a year to reach this milestone and Twitter two years). By July 2011, Instagram users had shared over 100 million photographs. It reached 10 million registered users in September that year. The number has hit 100 million by September 2012.
  • The Android version received over 430.000 pre-registrations and when it finally released on 3rd April 2012, it was downloaded over a million times in less than 12 hours.
  • Apple named Instagram app of the year for 2011
  • In April 2012 Instagram was aquired by Facebook for about 1 billion $ in cash and stock
  • More than 1 billion Instagram photos have been uploaded so far
  • roughly 58 photographs are being uploaded each second
  • Instagram gains 1 new user every second.

These are some great numbers! and the good thing is in one survey it was observed many people use the app to just relax and take a creative break! The whole process of taking a photo, editing it and sharing it takes less than 5 minutes so you can snap a pic whenever you see something worth clicking because you always have your camera in your pocket now!

This whole experience of taking a good photo which you would have missed earlier is satisfying for every photographer. You don’t even need to do the whole process in a go, you can just click a photo and when you are waiting in a line or traveling you can edit n share by importing the photo from your gallery, so it’s pretty flexible. The app even lets you do all this without a net connection and when you get a network later, the app will share the pending uploads. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the founders have done an excellent job in designing the UI and UX of the app and thus it is such a hit with both the nerds and not-so-tech-savvy folks alike!

I can say from my experience of using the app from last 1 year that I’ve been able to snap shots which I wouldn’t have taken usually because I believed that I had left my camera at home and there is nothing I can do right now. Infact when I had posted my best shots of 2012, I realized that out of 40 shots that I think were the better than the rest, around 10 were from my phone but the credit goes to Instagram for making me realize the power of the camera that I had always been carrying in my pocket.

So, I would suggest you to give the app a spin once more, you’ll enjoy trying the different filters, it won’t make you a teenage girl if you’re thinking in that direction! So chill and make some good shots!

Another cool thing that is trending these days is #instawalk – it is just like photowalk, but people use instagrams on their phones instead of regular cameras! Instagram blog is a great place to know more about these events. Here is one group of photographers who made a video of their recent instawalk, cool, right! You can check out the Instagram Blog for updates on such events and weekly contests based on themes

However, like myself there are lot of people who are bored of the usual Instagram shots like the food-pic, mirror-self-shot and others. You should totally avoid these ones! :-D

Let me know what your experience has been with the app and I’d love to know why you love/hate it ?

EDIT

I’ve been trying out other photo editing apps as well and I must confess that I’ve changed my workflow slightly now. Before exporting the photo to Instagram, I treat it once using another app – Picsay Pro. The app is pretty flexible in terms of it’s effects and adjustments. Also, it has several easy-to-add cartoon stuff like speech bubbles and sunglasses, well you get the idea. It’s a highly recommended app for photo editing!

I would still maintain my stand on Instagram that it is the easiest way to share photos from your camera to your social media channels. Cheers to (cellphone) photography!