Digital Photography: the power of sharing

Source: Info Trends

Source: Info Trends

We take photographs for numerous reasons to record memorable moments. With the help of mobile phone, we can take photos and upload them on social media immediately. The use of digital photography brings a shift from special or rarefied moments to everyday images. (Murray, S 2008) Taking photos from everyday becomes an important digital sharing practice. Taking photos, uploading on social media and sharing with others becomes ubiquitous within internet users. Currently, there are more than 2 billion internet users and the third billion will be reached by the end of 2014. They share photos or with text on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A blog from The New York Times says that the act of taking photos is no longer enough to confirm reality; only sharing with others can give us that validation. Internet users share photos to tell stories while celebrities share photos to promote themselves and interact with their fans. Sharing photos on social media also becomes an important marketing tool for brands to promote their products and communicate with consumers. In other words, all participants are now aesthetic producers, adding photographs into content for their profiles, blogs, feeds as well as consumers.

Statistics from 2013 shows that 62% of internet active users have shared or curated a photo or video. Visuals positively affect engagements include reading, clicks, shares and purchases by 80%.

Source: dlvr.it

Source: dlvr.it

Sharing photos of our daily lives seems become a trend that most of us see it as a better way to share our stories and experiences. Basically, we freely share everything in our daily lives, from products we like, places that we enjoyed and sights that inspire us. Internet users share photos with many different reasons. A study conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, titled “The Psychology of Sharing,” claims several main reasons why people share information online. First, we share to bring valuable and entertaining content to others. Second, we share to define ourselves to others. We also share to grow and nourish relationships. Another reason why we share is for self-fulfillment. Finally, the last reason is to market causes or brands.

For celebrities, they share to promote themselves and increase exposure further to build a better relationship with fans.

Source: Ellen DeGeneres Twitter

Source: Ellen DeGeneres Twitter

Social media has allowed a new way to follow and track the lives of our favorite celebrities. Most celebrities have their own social networking sites account for sharing information and interacting. Celebrities have started letting public look into their everyday lives from a first person point of view. More stories and photos are being leaked to the public first on social media than by way of the traditional outlets. Rihanna, top 5 Instagram user that has most followers, updating photos of her celebrity and personal life.

Source: badgalriri

Source: badgalriri

It also offers an opportunity for fans to show their supports via follow their favorite celebrities and even repost on their own Instagram. Fans, sometimes, share photos of their favorite celebrities in their social networking sites without permission. Scholar, Henry Jenkins, asking whether fans are copyright infringers, creative collaborators or niche marketers. Some suggest that fans are different from plagiarists, scrapers and other copyright infringers.

As for brands, they share to promote their products and build brand recognition. When it comes to marketing business, pictures speak volumes. Posts on Facebook, for instance, increasing engagement when include album, picture or video by an average of 180%, 120% and 100% respectively. Social media differ to traditional media in one key respect which is they enable two way conversations. Therefore, brands can ask consumers to share photos with them. Instagram, a photo-sharing program quickly became the fastest growing marketing tool on social media. Big brand such as Coca Cola uploads creative photos on Instagram to promote the brand.

Source: Coca-Cola Instagram

Source: Coca-Cola Instagram

Their product can be seen somewhere in the photo. Those photos deliver the personality of young, positive and creative. Coca Cola creates the photos in an aesthetic way and engages audiences effectively. Brand created photos are posted on brand’s official Instagram feed while consumers shared images are posted on their personal feed but can be searched by typing in hashtag (#) with the brand’s name. (Chang, C.Y 2014)Photos can help to reflect brands without being directly sales related. It also creates a vibrant visual community between brands and consumer perceptions.

 

Advertisements

Why Instagram?

Instagram was first developed in 2010 by an American company. Instagram is available on App Store and Google Play which enables its users sharing their lives through pictures and videos. It also enables users connect their Instagram account to other social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Flicker etc. Since 2010, Instagram has over 180 million active users and 50 million photos are being posted daily with 1.1 million likes generated per second.

 There are five main buttons on Instagram user interface. Firstly, users are able to edit their profiles and follow other users. Following people allows you to see photos that been uploaded by people who is in your follow list. From within the “Homepage” button you can scroll through posts in chronological order by all of the users you are following by. The “Star Icon” button is where you can see photos by other users with most likes. The “Camera” shaped button allows you to take a photo or choose a photo from your device’s photo albums and share it. Anytime someone follows you, likes one of your posts, comments on your posts, or tags you into a photo, you will be notified from the “News” button.

 Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media; it is too big not to join. There are many reasons for Instagram users to find that it is attractive. First of all, Instagram offers 20 different filters that can be used to enhance photos. Users do not have to equip with professional photographic technique, even boring photos can look amazing with some of these filters. Users can also add a caption or hash tags to the photo. Photos with same tags which taken by different users around the world will be categorized in same section. Moreover, the photo can be geotagged from where the photo was taken and the photo will be categorized in specific location. Secondly, just like other social network, Instagram is based on having followers. However, when you are struggling with Twitter character limitations and feeling free to be yourself on Facebook, where every family member is on your friends list, sometimes photos make it easier.

 For personal, Instagram not only provides an opportunity for users to share their stories but also enables users to connect with each other, even someone you will never meet. Taking a glimpse into their lives, you will be surprised how different or how alike you all are. From a photo of your lovely breakfast, to a stunning view on beach, every moment that you deem special can be broadcasted instantly to all of your followers. Moreover, you also will find people with a large number of followers try to use those followings to do something good. It raises awareness on specific events that happened around the world.

 For company, Instagram gives brands a chance to tell their stories through visuals. Social media become an indispensable tool for companies to build and maintain their brand images. Instagram has become a more mature social media platform for marketers to deliver messages and communicate with customers. With creative photos or videos and relevant content to maximize the use of Instagram, followers will pass on the story of the brand to others and increase exposures. In some cases, Instagram can be a useful tool for charity or non-profit organization to promote donation. There are some companies have done a tremendous job within Instagram, among them Nike (5.5 million followers), NASA (1.4 million followers), Adidas (1.6 million followers) and so on. You can find out more brands, celebrities, sports, non-profit organisations on Instagram from its “Notable Users” page.

 Social media have changed the way people communicate and how they reach information. Nowadays, phone number no longer is the first thing that you are given when you try to make friends with others. Adding friends through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram becomes more and more common, especially between young people. People from all walks of life stay optimistic in social media; Instagram is especially emphasized, because of the size of potential viewership. Instagram not only provides a platform for personal users to connect with each other but also offers brands an opportunity to establish a long term relationship with customers. Instagram seems to play an important role in our daily lives; it is excited to see how Instagram continues to grow and how they react to competition within photo sharing industry in the future.