28 January 2019

The IG Effect

Some of you might have seen that I have joined the ranks of Instagram (IG). That happened last October. Since then, I have published over 30 posts –30 pics-- with irregular reactions, and I have learned a couple of things.

IG creates a totally new context with new rules. Leigh Reyes made some very interesting remarks on her end-of-the-year recap, and I recommend reading them. I am more naïve, and more illiterate in all things Internet, but I cannot help offering my own observations.

With IG, the already volatile Internet is even more so. On one hand, the contents are not indexed and it is not possible to perform any real search within the IG world. Then comes the very short time during which contents are really active—that is, appearing on the feeds of other users.

My most successful post on IG.

The effect of this strategy, as Leigh Reyes pointed out, is that when we play the IG game we all become brands. The obvious consequence is the need to be present on the feeds and to be liked by others. To satisfy those we need to publish often even if we might publish essentially the same thing. And that because that is what the IG algorithm prioritizes.

Some more random posts of mine.

The lifetime of a post is about 48 hours. After that, it just rests confined to the list of your own posts. Therefore, it is not surprising that IG glorifies the image over the texts. Actually, it despises the texts—everything must be fast and easy to consume, and you consume all that on the go. So, the text editor is awful and the options for making later amendments, limited. But it does not matter—live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse...

Instagram works well for advertisement, but not for the calm consumption of information. In more than one sense, IG is incompatible with the slow life of a fountain pen. Incompatible with the way of the pen, the mannenhitsu-dô, 万年筆.

Pilot Petit-1, 1st generation – Pilot Brown

Bruno Taut
Chuo, Janaury 25th 2019
Etiquetas: redes sociales, metabitácora


Shubh said...

Hi, I see IG differently, it's a visual Twitter .. one uses it to draw people to the long read blog, it quickly informs people of your opinion/ new products/ point out new information .. so anyone interested will follow up if relevant .. use it as you would use a hammer or a loupe .. that's all it is

Bruno Taut said...

Visual Twitter? Twitter is bad enough, making it visual does not improve it the least. For advertising, okay; for real reflection, useless if not utterly counterproductive.

But that is only my opinion.


Rafael R. P. said...

Hi, I also see IG differently. I came here looking for some information about IronGall inks.

jaguarish said...

Hello Bruno, I have been following your blog for some time and very much appreciate your informative posts. From my perspective some of the audience are readers and some are visual image consumers. In any case you only need to worry about this if you are trying to make money from your web presence; otherwise, be yourself and do what is natural for you! For me it has been fun to share snippets of my interests on IG which I only began using a year ago as an experiment. I found that some users are looking at my IG from longer ago than I expected, so it's not only a 48hr shelf life. (I'm @jaguaritte if you want to see my feed.) Cheers and thanks again for the blog.

Bruno Taut said...

Rafael, I do not think you can find that info on IG. At least, not easily.

"The lifetime of a post is about 48 hours". Let me rephrase that: posts receive 90% of the feedback within the first 48 hours after publication (and I am being very optimistic).


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