Instagram is currently one of my favourite social networks; something I couldn’t have predicted 6 months ago. There’s just something so simple about the concept of a mobile-only photo-sharing social network that works so well. My friends and I now assign hashtags to our events so that the next day we can each go back and see all of the photos taken. This worked particularly well at a recent “neighbourhood crawl” we organized. Each house chose a theme and prepared food and a signature cocktail to serve to guests. We had around 20 participants who all live in our neighbourhood and the hashtag was used almost 100 times to share photos from the evening. It served particularly useful as a digital “lost and found” the next day to track owners of various items left behind at each stop. I rarely upload event photos to Facebook anymore, but I do track my event photos on Instagram and I suspect that I’m not the only one.
With the news of Facebook’s purchase of the social network, the disabling of Twitter integration, and the reaction to the updated Terms of Service that prompted an official response from Instagram had agencies and social media strategists quick to predict the end of Instagram.
Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I don’t think the recent news and moves made my Instagram’s new sugardaddy, Facebook mean the end for the social network.
Saying Instagram will die because Twitter now lets you add filters to your photos is like saying Twitter would die if Facebook added hashtag functionality. It misses the fact that Instagram is a social network in and of itself without the filters and Twitter integration. In fact, Instagram passed Twitter in the number of daily active users on mobile this past August.
What do you think? Will 2013 bring the end of Instagram?