Local groups are created under the Instagramers denomination, that afterwards organise local events of all kinds, depending on the number of users, level of implication and resources available. Each day we have more and more brands and sponsors willing to support us, that have great visibility during the events.
People usually meets via Instagram and create personal and emotional bonds. Afterwards, of course, they want to know each other, share their knowledge and experiences: we call that InstaMeets. Later on, we started organising photo contests through the app, with the brands’ support, and exhibitions all around the world came after that. Last week we set a new record with more than 450 Instagramers in an Instameet.
We are already in more than 60 countries. The more active are USA, Australia, Canada and Brasil, followed by the European countries, Spain among them and right before Italy. Spain is one the countries that share the most on social networks, and so they do on Instagram. All Latin culture is much more open and keen to sharing more content and of quality. Asian countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore are also very present. Talking with the Instagram team, we concluded that activities in countries like the Arab Emirates or China are fantastic but they are less “sociable” than us.
There aren’t any similar blogs. Instagramers is the only blog in the world dedicated exclusively to Instagram. There’s also the one from Instagram itself, but nothing more. There are mobile photography blogs, others about digital photography, apps, social networks, but 100% dedicated to Instagram, we are the only ones. We have more than a dozen local blogs in countries like Brasil, France, Manila, UK and USA and there’s access to all of them from our Instagramers.com home page.
I thin the success is due, most of all, to the fact that for 2 years and a half I have dedicated all of my free time to it. Having a blog is a slave labour. You need to monitor every day what’s happening on Instagram (at least the most important of it, it’s impossible to track everything). Of course, it also helped that I bought all Instagramers.com domains and registered the brand, but the success of a blog is a daily work: replying to messages, looking or partnerships, responding to lost users.
Actually… we didn’t ask, but the contrary. When I created the irst account on Instagram, it was called Instagramers and they erased it, as it was too similar to their brand. I thought of quitting and thought their reaction wasn’t normal. But then I thought it would be better to change de the name, and called myself @Igers, also creating the hashtag #IGers (diminutive of Instagramers). I also registered the brand not to face any problems in the near future, and kept going forward. Today IGers is being used worldwide when mentioning an “Instagram user”; has more than 150 million pictures tagged and figures in the top 10 hashtags more used in the world. The success og these groups and the number of meetings around the world, couldn’t go unnoticed and Instagram ended up recognizing our success they day they published my interview on their blog (one of the few interviews they have ever published).
Today we get along very well. Last week I visited their offices (already integrated with Facebook after last year’s millionaire purchase) and we collaborate in many issues. I send them information about what users want, what they’d like to have in the app etc. They have promised to support much more their “community management” department and probably will help me on that as well. They are thinking of appointing in the near future a community manager for Europe, what would really help us.
Instagram is the social network with the greatest growth in history. In less than 2 years achieved more than 100 million users, while for Facebook it took 4, 5 for Twitter and 8 for LinkedIn… The app itself started being very simple and closed to iPhone users.
Adaptation to Andriod Operation System was the first great change. We went from 27 million to 80 in few months and with very different user profiles, much younger. That, in my opinion, was the first milestone since October 2010. Other changes to the app, like geo-localising pictures, tagging users in pictures or uploading videos are key developments but, for me, were predictable. Android input meant such a success that Mark Zukerberg rushed to buy the app (for a billion dollar) before any other buyer could take it from him, like Google. Something that was also important was the “guerrilla” with Twitter, that lead to difficulties in sharing pictures in their network after Facebook’s acquisition.
As I described in this article with video, Instagram killed to birds in a shot. From one hand, they couldn’t let Twitter go too far with their successful “Vine” that was already showing very good results in an early stage. From the other, video is probably the format that will be used the most in apps in the upcoming years, and the one that really facilitates advertisement formats. Including an add in front of a picture is difficult; doing it on a video is commonly accepted and less uncomfortable for users. That’s my opinion, no one has ever commented on that but I defend to the hilt. Monetising over the million videos on Instagram it’s a good alternative to Youtube pre-rolls. Give it some time…
Personally, I like the format (short, that can also be recorded with the mobile device and further uploaded to the app). It opens infinite possibilities to creativity, but also for information and marketing purposes.
Of course. Android users are (generally) younger. The devices are cheaper and the use of young people is different from adults. When Instagram entered Android, many teenagers came in but also many famous people, as their fans are on Instagram. Appel users aren’t playing with any advantage, they are just playing in a different playground. Some days ago, the daughter of a friend of mine let me see her account and it’s completely different to mine. Not only we are following very different users but we also use it different. There, I saw a lot of “selfie”: many auto-pics, friends, girls, boys partying…
Recently, Gervasio Sánchez, awarded national photography and well known war journalist, told us at the photo event Fotogenio 2013 that Instagram “generates fondness in photography” and I completely agree. It is clear that some have discovered their creative side and think about making it a career in mobile photography… and we just have to wait to see the first cases.
In the United States there’s an agency of mobile photographers, there are more and more exhibitions and even Time magazine showed an Instagram picture as cover, once. There will be cases of photographers arising or discovered on Instagram, models etc. just like happened with Russian Red or Pablo Alborán on Youtube. And I found it positive. You can dream of being “discovered” without having a big marketing machine or key media working for you.
For me, being a good instagramer doesn’t mean taking good pictures… for me being a good instagramer means having captured the social essence of the tool. I always say that photography on Instagram is just an excuse. An excuse to discover, meet new people and socialise.
I see it more positive than one year ago. When the integration with Facebook happened, we all feared the worst. But it wasn’t. From my point of view, Zukerberg has acted very cunning and won’t throw the money through the window. The Instagram team has it’s own building, separated from the rest of the employees at Facebook. They have their own space and want to keep their autonomy in deciding the future of the app.
I’m enthusiastic of Hipstamatic, but for retouching I also use Camera+ (that was developed by 2 ex-co-workers of mine and one of the most downloaded in the world). There’s also Snapseed (recently acquired by Google) or VSCO Cam. We can’t forget LAYRS APP is being launched in September. I met the founders testing the “beta” version and I really think it will be a hit.
What is the origin of Instagramers? Why is this project born?
In how many countries can we find instagramers?
The success of instagramers compared to other similar blogs, is only due to being the first to do it?
How did you ask for support to Instagram when opening instagramers?
How has Instagram evolved in the last years and how has this affected you?
As Instagramers how you recieved the new of the video in Instagram?
Do you think there are different uses of Instagram among users with different OS? Do Apple users have any advantages for being “older” on the app?
Do you think photography as an artistic discipline, has been benefited from it or harmed?
Can everyone be a good Instagramer?
How do you see the future of Instagram?
To finish with, do you recommend some applications to make our pictures more interesting?
Phil at Instagram HQ
Interview to Phil Gonzalez, founder of Instagrammers @igers
What is instagramers? How, when and why was it launched? We interview its founder Philippe Gonzalez, who will explain us the origins and some anecdotes of the igers world. BTW, you can certainly follow him, he is PhilGonzalez in twitter and of course, also in instagram