Happy Birthday, IG. Oh My, Look At How You Have Changed Us.
It’s been a little manic over here in Worcester. With all of the pitching, presenting, and talk about personalisation when it comes to content marketing (You can watch the full session here) This Friday afternoon sees us typing, coding, and quickly checking off our to-do list so that we can say hello to the weekend.
But before we sign out. It’s time to give you the rundown when it comes to the latest news in digital marketing in this week’s Ecrubox Take.
Today, we celebrate a platform that we all know and love. In recognition of an app that transformed society and culture as we know it, here’s our take on IG as we celebrate Instagram’s 10th anniversary. Yes, you heard us right… IG is 10! Don’t be embarrassed, we can all remember our first post, and we are here to tell you it’s ok. Instagram has come on a long way, and so have we!
Instagram at 10- How an app changed the way we eat, travel, and consume.
Let’s take you back to a moment before IG was a thing. On October 6, 2010, two Americans, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, launched Instagram as a social network dedicated to photo sharing. What did this involve? Basically, just digital snapshots of people’s daily life: Exhibitions, dinners, people on public transport or on vacation, every corner had become a backdrop for capturing a self-portrait for public consumption
Sounds like a simple format right? The novelty? The app offered filters to adjust brightness, contrast, and colour to create the perfect photo in an instant. Something that hadn’t been available before.
Ten years on and Instagram has evolved far beyond just your everyday selfies. It redefines “experiences” blurring the line between reality and someone’s carefully curated personal brand. We don’t mean to get all marketing on you, but it’s true, it’s had that much of an impact.
Why do we need to keep a close eye on our 10-year-old friend? Fast forward from just a feed of snapshots. The app now provides a digital storefront for a variety of brands that have developed powerful digital marketing strategies to attract millions of users on the platform.
A shopping feature was even introduced last year which has transformed Instagram into an e-commerce site, encouraging companies to use their profiles as digital storefronts so users can shop and pay without ever leaving the app.
The next generation of influencers will be the consumers and therefore Instagram has the ability to complement your website’s infrastructure by becoming a referral source and user-generated content stream that runs alongside your well-developed site. Companies are wise to use this platform to help position the brand’s identity, develop their digital communities, and use it to strengthen their connection with the consumer.
After all, a little gem to remember is that we all fell for Instagram not because we love looking at ourselves, but because we love looking at our phones.
Instagram, which was designed for mobile right from the start, was the first platform to recognise that in the 21st century, our most important relationship is with our phone. Neither Twitter nor Facebook was phone-centric as early as Instagram was. The fact that it was designed from the very start to be consumer-centric is a feature we should never loose sight of.
It was 2012 when everything changed. Two things happened, Instagram was bought by Facebook and Kim Kardashian signed up.
Both of these two headlines were monumental in some form. They represented the monetisation of Instagram. Which to be fair, until then had no clear business model.
The Facebook deal made it evident that Instagram was going to play a big part in our culture. And Kim Kardashian’s first post meant that this platform was going to create a stage where all egos could play. The layout of Instagram, a steady sequence of same-size images, turns us all into celebrities. You can literally appear alongside Dua Lipa, Victoria Beckham, or Gordon Ramsey. We tried to get a few different generations in because as well it appeals to all ages.
Structure matters. Content is crucial for any brand- but how it’s displayed is even more so. Instagram is brilliant for being in tune with consumers, knowing what they need, how they are engaging, and what to do in response to any competitors that come their way.
- Hello reels in response to Tik Tok
- Hello IG Stories in response to Snapchat.
Instgaram is not afraid to play ball.
After 10 strong years, IG seems to be at the forefront of possibility when it comes to creating a platform that is relevant, user friendly, and profitable.
And then 2020 happened. Yeah, we are still in it, and it wasn’t just a bad dream. With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, the banana bread of Instagram – the selling of a glossy, perfect lifestyle – became problematic. IG had to take its own filter off and get real for its audience.
With no nightclubs, retreats, or weddings, Instagram went quiet during spring. Then, on 2 June, a week after the killing of George Floyd, came #BlackoutTuesday, when 28 million people posted black squares on their Instagram feed to signal support for Black Lives Matter (BLM). This proved that Instagram was no longer just about the selfie, but instead a platform for expression, for opinions, a place where people felt as though they could create change and make an impact via digital.
Instagram in many ways has been a mirror. A mirror for our selfies, a mirror for our memories, and now a reflection of our culture. Brands can uncover opportunities, ideas, insight, and predictions when investing in the 10-year-old app with the hope that it will become a smart adolescent.
Instagram has always been at the forefront when it comes to design, usability, and features. Now maybe it can steer us in the right direction when it comes to the ever-changing, shifting behaviors of consumers.
Happy Birthday IG