Instagram: Five Years and Going Strong

In October 2010, Instagram was born.

The app’s popularity quickly spread and by December 2014, it had over 300 million users. While Instagram continues to be a social media juggernaut, new apps offering similar features continue to flood the market, hoping to earn their spot in users’ phones.

One of Instagram’s recent competitors is Phhhoto, an app that allows users to posts gifs (animated pictures.) Phhhoto also features a new filter every day, from flower borders to tie dye swirls. Though the app has gotten very high ratings since its debut, many HBA students still say they enjoy Instagram more. “I like Instagram better,” says sophomore Dru Pang, “because it allows me to keep up with the lives of my friends. It also allows me to be in the loop of what’s big today. For example, the black and blue dress, not the gold and yellow one.”

For sophomore Evan Yamashiro, Instagram is an effective platform for promoting his photography services. He says he prefers Instagram because he can easily share his work. Yamashiro’s photography business actually became popular through the app. He says, “I just kept posting pictures and I guess a lot of people liked it. Also whenever someone reposted my photo, other people would see it and it just kept going from there.” He adds that that unlike Phhhoto, Instagram allows him to interact with people through comments and direct messaging, which helps him grow his business. “I definitely receive a lot of opportunities through Instagram,” he says. “It’s such a great platform to connect with people, and that’s how I met a lot surf photographers and surfers. It’s really cool to see how everyone knows each other through Instagram.”

Another competitor to Instagram is Snapchat, which allows users to send videos or pictures to their friends. Snapchat, however, only displays what users send to their friends for up to 10 seconds. The Discover section of Snapchat features pictures and videos for what they call “Discover Stories.” Sophomore Blythe Yoshikane says, “The thing I enjoy the most about Snapchat is the Discover Stories. It’s a really cool way for teenagers to stay in the loop with things like Buzzfeed, National Geographic, and all the other stories.”

Though Instagram and Snapchat are very similar, many students say they use both apps frequently. “On Snapchat, your pictures and videos will only last [for] seconds. Most people won’t look at your story more than once. While on Instagram, people may judge the things that you post more because it’s so accessible to them, making [the post] more for the public,” Yoshikane says.

For sophomore Morgan Lorenzo, in spite of the options out there, she says, “Instagram will always be number one.”

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Instagram: Five Years and Going Strong

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