The Rise of Instagram
In October 2010, the photo sharing program Instragram was launched and quickly sky rocketed to success. People loved the novelty of applying a digital filter to photos they had taken to give them a vintage feel. The distinctive square shape of the photos adds to this dated effect and mirrors that of Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images. It seemed to be a refreshing change to the 4:3 aspect typically found in mobile phone camera that many people had been getting bored of. At first the application was only available for iPhone and iPad, but after it’s huge success the company added support for Android phones. And Instragram kept growing, in April 2012 Facebook passed with approximately $1 billion to acquire the application, connecting the 800 million active users to the service.
Today, Instragram has reached far beyond mobile phones and social networking sites. Many professional photo printing companies are now offering to create large prints of peoples Instragram photos. This new phase of ‘Printstragram’ seems to be on the rise, with high street shops offering to print Instragram photos onto a range of different mediums. From canvases, tile and clothing, to stickers and silks, in colour or black and white, there seems to be no end to the Instragram products.
This craze has sparked some discussion within the art world. Some argue that it is refreshing that everyone can create and print photos with a vintage feel, regardless of their photographic experience. However, others claim it devalues the work of artists using film cameras, taking time and precision to create works to the same effect. Though this maybe the case, it seems the Instragram wave will continue to swell, offering new and innovative ways to display photographs. With Facebook leading the way, it seems the whole world will soon know about Instragram.