One of the biggest reasons that Facebook has become such a behemoth was the introduction of a simple feature. The ability to tag your friends in photos and have those tags show up in friend’s news feeds was revelatory. Ask any early Facebook engineer and they will tell you that people literally spent hours just clicking through hundreds or thousands of photos of their friends. Photo sharing is still a hugely popular field – with tons of people competing for your snaps. These guys are making a lot of the headlines at the moment.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks at the moment. At its heart, it’s a simple photo sharing application for the iPhone (with an Android version and other versions coming soon). There’s something strangely hypnotic about the app though – scrolling through strangers photographs from all over the world is addictive.
Clive Thompson – a contributing writer at the New York Times magazine wrote about how the app has changed his life. Similar to Soundcloud, blogs, tumblr feeds and Twitter accounts – Instagram gives people a little bit of insight and access to their favourite authors. That access is hugely important. People love to feel like they’re even fractionally closer to someone whose work they read and love. This gives them that opportunity.
So what can authors photograph? Anything – if you look through the popular section on the app, you’ll see everything from unbelievably beautiful scenery from around the world to pictures of shoes and everything in between. Pictures of writing desks, cups of coffee, signings and anything would be more than welcome. It’s also a great way to engage with people. The comments on Instagram tend to be a lot nicer than some of the trolls you find on Facebook and Twitter.
Coming up tomorrow – Groupon
Eamonn Carey is a digital media entrepreneur and consultant who lives in London. He’s worked on digital, social and mobile strategies and applications with companies like 3, O2, Diageo and many others. If you want to know more about Eamonn’s work, or if you’re interested in talking to him about consultancy or ideas, feel free to contact him at his website. He also has an idea for a book if anyone is interested. But then, who doesn’t.