As most Instagram users know, whenever you post a photo on Instagram, it gives you
the choice to have it populate onto Facebook and/or Twitter. Sometimes I do populate my Instagram photos everywhere and sometimes I prefer to keep them exclusive to my Instagram feed.
To me, this
very function puts Instagram in the driver's seat and makes most other social networking platforms feel almost old-fashioned as they sit there, waiting to see if they might be invited to repeat and rehash what you have to show and tell on Instagram.
I was recently asked by someone what the differences are between IG, FB,
TW, and ... well ... let's throw Vine into this mix as well, shall we? The question made me think about my relationship with each platform and
how different facets of my personality come out, depending on which
platform I'm using. Here are some of my observations and thoughts regarding it
VINE and IG
When Vine came onto the scene a few weeks ago (you know, the APP that lets you share 6-second videos), part of me wondered if it would overshadow IG in terms of popularity. And though Vine is moderately entertaining, it's not Instagram ... mainly because making a super short video doesn't give you as instant a gratification as taking a quick picture. After all, who has 6 seconds to waste viewing a video (let alone 6 minutes+ making a 6-second video)? Those precious seconds can be better spent viewing and commenting on IG photos, I say.
How I'm feeling about Vine right now: I've not made many Vine videos and frankly, I feel a little guilty about that. I feel like I'm letting my followers down. And though there's planning and staging that has to happen for IG photos, it pales in comparison to the planning and scheming that go into one measly little video. But when I do post on Vine, I feel I'm on my best behavior. And when I comment on other Vine videos, I find that I'm on my best commenting behavior as well. Not sure what that's about but the hair is definitely up when interacting on Vine.
TWITTER and IG
One of the observations people make about why Instagram is better than Twitter is that it takes too much time to read the 140 characters associated with Twitter posts but that there is time to quickly view photos associated with Instagram feeds. Ironically, there are times when Instgram photos have way more than 140 characters attached to them as authors have much to say about the subject at hand (including photos that are supposed to speak for themselves but often get posted with commentary like "no words needed when the day looks like this") and overuse esoteric commentary-based hashtags that are annoying, not clever. There's got to be a hashtag for people to use when we get sucked into wasting precious moments desiphering not-so-clever sentences without spaces and start with the pound sign ... only to learn that the author's son #neverrememberstotakeoutthetrashbutilovehimanyway. Are you effin' kidding me? I could have spent the last 6 seconds watching a Vine video but instead got sucked into learning about your son and your trash. #killmenow.
This thing with hashtags also exsits on Twitter but in my observation, it's not as intense as it is on Instagram. The other major upside with Twitter is of course its ability to embed links that we want people to visit. Why Instagram can't do this I don't know. #dearinstagramcanyoupleaseaddalinkfeaturesomysoncantakeoutthetrash? #killmenow.
And then of course there are people who comment on the Instagram photos, sometimes causing arduously LONG back-and-forths with the author as commenters who for assorted reasons get engaged to throw in their two cents regarding the topic at hand.
How I'm feeling about Twitter right now: For the most part, I neglect it. Sometimes I feel sorry for it so I'll populate an IG photo onto my feed but every time I do this, I feel I'm not being unique to Twitter. So the guilt will sometimes get me on Twitter to see if there's anything unique that I can engage with ... but wouldn't you know it ... lately, whenever I go on Twitter, all I see is Instagram photos being rehashed everywhere. Go figure. But the thing about Twitter is that it isn't the most warm and fuzzy of networking platforms. Even if you have a lot of followers, there is a chance that several of your posts will not result in anyone responding ... which sometimes leads you to mistakenly think that your tweets are not read by anyone and that they are perhaps even private. They're not, as Anthony Weiner will attest.
FACEBOOK and IG
Having close friends and random strangers chime in to throw in their two cents on the subject of a post is not unique to Instagram, of course. In fact, this phenomenon is the cornerstone of Facebook. It's what makes Facebook so darned entertaining ... as we get to see all-out battles and emotions explode on people's walls where debates about politics, religion and everything in between get duked out for everyone in the world to see. It's a hot mess at times.
When I compare all platforms in terms of how people comment on posts, I feel that Facebook is the most engaged. I mean, don't even think about saying a peep about the apple you just ate if you don't want 30 people to leave you a comment ... ranging from granny smiths, fujis, honey crisps, fritters, pies, and orchards. And with the comments, there will be links galore ... that take you to the ends of the earth to learn more than you ever dreamed of learning about apples and apple derivatives.
But you know, that's the power of Facebook. You get to post photos and links ... and the community is NOT SHY about saying something about everything and anything. Yes ... on Facebook, the hair is definitely down, the shoes off, and wine poured. And boxing gloves nearby. :)
How I'm feeling about Facebook right now: I use it all the time. It's my number one go-to on getting the word out about something I'm promoting. It's also up there in terms of engaging with people when I feel a little lonely. I mean, if I feel like inviting a little company into my empty studio, all I have to do is talk about the apple I just ate. But lately, I feel that rather than just talking about my apple, I might as well Instagram my apple, populate it onto Facebook, and enjoy double the instant community. Do I invite Twitter to the party? Probably not. And Vine? Too much trouble.
The bottom line is this. Instagram is fun. It's
easy. It's instant. Even though sometimes photos get mired in way too many comments and hashtags, the words for the most part are on the second stage as the photos remain on the main stage.
Finally, to all the critics ... I'm not delusional into thinking that anyone's Instagram feed reflects that person's complete life story. Surely there are photos from shouting matches, bad hair days, dysfunctional relationships, and other unmentionables that will never make it onto anyone's IG feed. What we put out there and what we see out there is definitely orchestrated by us as we project what we want to share. I get it. And you kow what? That's A-OK by me. I like orchestrating my personality facets in ways that fit IG, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, etc. I know that who I am on these sites don't complete me. But let me tell you that who I am in real life includes the facets of who I am on these sites.