Monday, April 9, 2012

What Is It About Instagram?

Instagram gives a brief, but intimate peek into their lives, their loves, and their joys.

The news was a shock. No, it can't be. Facebook is buying Instagram for $1,000,000,000?  No, wait, it already happened?  Oh, boy, there goes the neighborhood.

That was my thought immediately. Then I read the statement from the newly minted multi-millionaire CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, "It's important to be clear that Instagram is not going away." Well, that is some comfort, but it's not the "going away" I'm worried about.  it's the "getting all caught up in the Facebook thing" that is worrying me.

It was just earlier today that I was remembering my post, "Facebook Today, Reminds Me of AOL in 1998", that I thought to myself, "I love apps like Instagram that let you have a small slice of photo sharing without all the overhead that Facebook brings", and then Bam! it's all over and Instagram is taken over by Facebook.

It got me thinking how great these sharing tools have become. A simple app that lets you take a picture, geo-tag it with your location, and then apply one of 17 or so filters to make it exceptionally cool. Gees, I could never take a good picture until Instagram came along. And then all of a sudden friends were saying "great shot," "cool pic,"  "Wow, stunning."  Check out a sampling of my masterpieces here.

I've been on Instagram for a year or so. In that time, I've carved out a small subset of my twitter crowd and became closer to each of them by what they share in photos of their lives. I have a few friends in Australia that share their "summer down under" pictures during the long, cold North American winter.  Then, there is my friend in Calgary for even the cool spring days here when he posts snow cover pictures well into April.  I have other friends who keep me current on the fast growth of their babies and toddlers.

It is just too good.  Each picture is a masterpiece, a little slice of life, that makes the relationship a little stronger.   Most of these people, I've only met on twitter or maybe face-to-face just once at a conference or some event.  Instagram gives me a brief, but intimate peek into their lives, their loves, and their joys.

Judging from the backlash today, many people feel like I do.  One friend is already well on his way to exporting his pictures and deleting his account, just because he dislikes Facebook so much. Well, I'm not going that far, but I do hope that Facebook does not pull a "Gowalla" with Instagram.

Please Facebook, don't mess this one up.  It's the best thing going out there right now.

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