Guest article! In the piece below, Beekeeper Group’s Justin Kutner looks at social photo site Instagram as it’s playing out in the 2012 elections. Note that Beekeeper’s Shana Glickfield and Henri Makembe have appeared in our august pages in the past.
Political Trends: Social Media Photography On the Campaign Trail
Sepia-toned photos of architecture and vividly colored snapshots of soup and sandwiches aren’t just for the hipster set anymore. Candidates are embracing Instagram , the photo sharing mobile app recently purchased by Facebook for $1 billion. 2012 is the year of the photo-sharing social network, and Instagram is a powerful tool in the belt of a good online communicator. For the uninitiated: Instagram allows a user to use his or her smartphone’s camera to take a picture, after which he or she can add a variety of effects to the photo, and post the snapshot to the app’s photo sharing section. Users then grow their follower bases and watch as the number of “Likes” and Comments on each photo grows.
Instagram is primarily a mobile device application and functions almost entirely on its user’s mobile devices. Instagram can be in the pocket of virtually every smartphone user, which translates to millions of voters across the country. It’s a simple concept – think Twitter, but for photos.