Bloggers and corporate-types all around the world today are contemplating the same question; which social media should you use today? When people think about ranking social networks, they commonly start with Facebook as #1, however, the number two spot traditionally taken by Twitter has some new competition. Instagram has eclipsed Twitter with more than 300 million monthly active users, as reported by Shawn Knight on techspot.com. Twitter pulls in a mere 284 million active user base – nothing to sneeze at, but third place nonetheless.
For years, Twitter was an efficient distribution tool for people (and companies) to talk about themselves, provided they had something interesting to say. To the younger generation Twitter became more than that. Used as a group chat vehicle, Twitter can be used to semi-privately talk to friends throughout the day (because of it’s opt-in ability). Lastly, Twitter is most used to obtain internet-based news, updates and opinions – like a town hall focused specifically for what you’re interested. In this manner, it becomes the proverbial podium in which only a few actually have access to the microphone, the rest of us merely listen in.
Now as for Instagram, a Twitter direct competitor, the fact is, it’s now used by more people than Twitter seems like an inevitability. Instagram’s appeal is more immediate and more universal. It’s easier to create and find good content on Instagram, better for conversations and great to use with friends.
The main reason Instagram is so much more accessible than Twitter is that images have a more immediate impact than text. Seeing is easier than reading; an image has inherent value, whereas text has to convey more than just words. With Twitter, you have nothing but your wits and a mere 140 characters to demonstrate it, with Instagram, a picture is worth a million of them.
Instagram is also a better social tool. All comments about an image are recorded in one place so they’re easy for people to follow and add their voice. On Twitter, conversations are fractured by who you follow; you can only see part of the debate, and only a fraction of that part will see your contribution. As people get more comfortable with Instagram, they discover they can also follow those who share similar interests or have influential opinions; just as they can on Twitter.
Are you an Instagram user or are you just on the fringe, watching and adding a photo here and there, not truly knowing what to do with it all? Either way, when it comes to Social Media, stretching ones comfort zone to accommodate a new adventure in the ever-changing social landscape is a good move. Whether you are a freelance designer, a creative with a photography hobby, or a struggling designer needing to find that next avenue of your career, expanding your social reach is always a good thing to do. Try it – who knows where something new may take you.
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