Yesterday I saw reference to a short documentary about Instagram via Xanthe Berkeley. Xanthe said that after watching Instagram Is she was inspired to initiate a London Instagram meetup, where she lives. I knew I had to watch it right then and there. It was beautiful and inspiring and as someone who has met a new friend introduced to me through instagram, hey Ann, I can definitely get behind this movie. It’s only 25 minutes and free to watch, so check it out!
I had to chuckle about half way through, that they were making it seem that even though Instagram was this creative photo sharing community, that everyone just shoots jumping shots. I’ve never taken or been in a jump shot, instagram or otherwise. Oh wait, I take that back, I’ve definitely shot my share of hotel bed jumping shots :) A little bit further in to the movie I think they were using jump shots as a cohesive theme throughout. All the same, one of my favorite things about instagram is that I don’t notice the snobbery that is present on other photo sharing sites. No one is critiquing others for gratuitous or cliche shots. Maybe I’ll try out some full body jump shots soon.
I don’t want to end on a negative note, but I would be remiss not to mention Flickr here. Instagram is all about community and it was a breath of fresh air when I joined in 2010 after Flickr’s community feeling had been waning dramatically. When flickr released their improved app I was so hopeful and things really did seem to shift and turn around for the better for a while. But just last week they announced and released a HUGE site redesign and policy changes. I know a lot of people are really happy and thrilled with the changes, but it was the last straw for many of my contacts. Pictures are priority now, which makes sense, but did it really have to come at the cost of the community feeling? The new layout is NOT encouraging to feedback, discussions or comments at all for me. The layout, as far as I can tell, is not customizable at all, like it had been since 2005 when I originally joined. Basically I just want to use the app and visit the actual site as little as possible now. I can no longer scan through images quickly or see my favorites in quick thumbnail form. I know flickr and instagram are two separate beasts, but I feel like flickr is ignoring that a good portion of their customers were there for the feedback and not just to share professional photography. They are removing the community feeling entirely.