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When we took square photos on Instagram

When we took square photos on Instagram

Yesterday Instagram launched Instagram Direct, a new feature that allows users to exchange private photos and videos. What will the next change be now? Gaia has already listed 10 things that are missing on Instagram, and the list could go on. For, not the point.
 I have been observing Instagram since I remember it …

Yesterday Instagram he threw Instagram Direct, a new feature that allows you to exchange private photos and videos between users. What will the next change be now? Gaia has already listedthe 10 things that are missing to Instagram, and the list could go on. For, not the point.

I observe, and I have been studying Instagram since, I still remember, in early January 2011 some friends started to publish those square photos on Facebook and since then, a few months later, I also started using it myself. Instagram in these (few) years changed a lot, but not so much in its functions as in its nature. I have an idea that I have been thinking about for a while: Instagram is no longer a place for creating images, but a place for sharing images and, recently, also videos.

In the beginning on Instagram you could experiment. Let's start with the format: true, the Polaroid had arrived "a few" years before, but in the digital field it was a great novelty. Again: Instagram inserted, and this was his first winning weapon, in the mobile photo segment, coinciding with the exponential growth of smartphones and tablets, staying away from desktops and laptops. Yes, even if out of necessity, being first only and exclusively on the iPhone proved to be a strong point and not a disadvantage. I remember when the version arrived on Android and it was a crazy boom.

Let's go to the filters, another strong point: this infographic, of last March, says that 43% of the photos on Instagram are without a filter. This means something: other apps are used to edit, unedited photos are published. Then one experiences less, publishes more.

Let's go back to the format: are we sure that it is still a strong point? I have no data, so I only speak of pure observation: the number of published photos "cut" is increasing, if not already. The wave of events has now passed obscene photos with black bands, thanks also to special apps, the moment of rectangular photos with white bands. Elegant, certainly: they can like it or not like in my case, but what do they represent if not the desire to escape from the square format?

These two clues, do they try?

I cannot take it for granted, indeed many will not agree with me, but my idea remains firm: Instagram is increasingly a place for sharing images, essential app if you want to have an "audience", less and less a platform to experiment and less and less with its own "narrative". In this context, changes are being introduced that increasingly distance it from the initial Instagram: among all the latest Instagram Direct.

In addition, I would also add the arrival of advertising: advertising arrives where there is a large number of subscribers and users. But above all it arrives, in its classic and recognizable form, where little is experimented, arrives in the comfort zones not in the trenches. Attention, marketing had already arrived on Instagram, right away. I'm talking about advertising.

And all this, then, what do you foretell? In my opinion, ad a progressive and definitive change in Instagram. Progressive: probably in 2014, all those little things that remain inconceivable will be released, such as the management of multiple accounts. Definitive: in the near future of Instagram (2014? 2015?) the abandonment of the square format in favor of other formats.

in the "natural" evolution of the app abandon the square format to adopt other formats that people using Instagram already adopt, on Instagram and elsewhere: there are no rumors or rumors about this then, the most intransigent can rest easy.There will continue to be the possibility of publishing square photos and probably will remain the most used format, but it will not be the only one, perhaps the most used, but not the only one.

At that point the transition from a "place" of experimentation to a place of "sharing" will be accomplished, and probably Mark Zuckerberg will have recovered his investment and been making profits with Instagram.

We, on the other hand, will remember when we took the square photos, of how we "played" photographers, just as (probably) our parents played with Polaroids, before that "format" disappeared altogether, to return in vogue thanks to an iPhone app several years later.


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