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newyorker:

Visual Candy: The Rise of Instagram

So what does Instagram have that Facebook was missing? For Om Malik, the attraction is two-fold. First, Facebook is “a desktop-centric Internet company,” whereas Instagram is mobile-first; it’s essentially a stand-alone app for one of Facebook’s most popular features. Indeed, unless Instagram photos are published to Twitter or Facebook, they exist only in the space between phones. Second, Malik argues that Instagram was doing Mobile Uploads one better: they created a platform “built on emotion.” It’s not just that you can manipulate your photos with pretty filters—the Hipstamatic app already provided an analog aesthetic using anachronistic lenses and various choices of “film.” Instagram, and mobile photography in general, is about the serendipity of taking photos on the go and then publishing those little visual poems. And sometimes it’s not even about the filter; plenty of users post pictures with the hashtag #nofilter, as if to say “life really is that beautiful,” no enhancements needed. Sasha Frere-Jones (on Instagram as @sashafrerejones) spoke to the New York Times Lens blog, in 2010, about this “accidental kind of beauty,” not just in the photographs but in the conversations about them. Instagram provided a quiet gallery space for this conversation.
If Twitter occupies the hyperverbal space in our shared Internet brain with bits of news, jokes, and news-jokes, Instagram falls in the hypervisual part, which revels in the bits of visual candy in the world around us. It combines the sharing of a social app with the emotion of a photo album, and sharing plus feelings equals sharing feelings—an activity neither Mark Zuckerberg nor his company are known for. Om Malik goes so far as to say that Facebook “lacks soul,” whereas Instagram is “all soul and emotion,” but I think that’s a bit of a stretch. If anything, Facebook made a very emotionally mature move by acknowledging something important that it lacks; whether paying for it in cash and stock is ignoble is beside the point. Sometimes we want to talk about things we see outside ourselves. Camera phones have helped refocus our gaze from our navels back onto the world, at least until the next e-mail arrives. And that’s a big but important pill for Facebook to swallow.

- Silvia Killingsworth writes about Instagram: the visual candy Facebook couldn’t resist http://nyr.kr/IeRp1T

newyorker:

Visual Candy: The Rise of Instagram

So what does Instagram have that Facebook was missing? For Om Malik, the attraction is two-fold. First, Facebook is “a desktop-centric Internet company,” whereas Instagram is mobile-first; it’s essentially a stand-alone app for one of Facebook’s most popular features. Indeed, unless Instagram photos are published to Twitter or Facebook, they exist only in the space between phones. Second, Malik argues that Instagram was doing Mobile Uploads one better: they created a platform “built on emotion.” It’s not just that you can manipulate your photos with pretty filters—the Hipstamatic app already provided an analog aesthetic using anachronistic lenses and various choices of “film.” Instagram, and mobile photography in general, is about the serendipity of taking photos on the go and then publishing those little visual poems. And sometimes it’s not even about the filter; plenty of users post pictures with the hashtag #nofilter, as if to say “life really is that beautiful,” no enhancements needed. Sasha Frere-Jones (on Instagram as @sashafrerejones) spoke to the New York Times Lens blog, in 2010, about this “accidental kind of beauty,” not just in the photographs but in the conversations about them. Instagram provided a quiet gallery space for this conversation.

If Twitter occupies the hyperverbal space in our shared Internet brain with bits of news, jokes, and news-jokes, Instagram falls in the hypervisual part, which revels in the bits of visual candy in the world around us. It combines the sharing of a social app with the emotion of a photo album, and sharing plus feelings equals sharing feelings—an activity neither Mark Zuckerberg nor his company are known for. Om Malik goes so far as to say that Facebook “lacks soul,” whereas Instagram is “all soul and emotion,” but I think that’s a bit of a stretch. If anything, Facebook made a very emotionally mature move by acknowledging something important that it lacks; whether paying for it in cash and stock is ignoble is beside the point. Sometimes we want to talk about things we see outside ourselves. Camera phones have helped refocus our gaze from our navels back onto the world, at least until the next e-mail arrives. And that’s a big but important pill for Facebook to swallow.

- Silvia Killingsworth writes about Instagram: the visual candy Facebook couldn’t resist http://nyr.kr/IeRp1T

  1. instagramarketing reblogged this from newyorker
  2. difftv reblogged this from newyorker and added:
    Visual Candy: The Rise of Instagram So what does Instagram have that Facebook was missing? For Om Malik, the attraction...
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  4. callierosec reblogged this from newyorker and added:
    When I first found out that facebook had bought instagram I honestly was upset. I am so over facebook buying out every...
  5. boredramblingsofme reblogged this from newyorker and added:
    I sometimes wonder if I’ve fallen victim to the hype machine…
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    Visual Candy: The Rise of Instagram So what does Instagram have that Facebook was missing? For Om Malik, the attraction...
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