What is Instagram?

My practicum project is about interactive media and even more specifically surrounds media sharing services. As part of my first attempt to dive into the project, I decided to take on Instagram as one of the websites I wanted to research for the next few months. Prior to beginning this project, I had very little knowledge about Instagram besides the fact that it has to do with photo sharing. I decided to educate myself on this topic because of its growing status as one of the most popular media sharing services today. So here is a little bit about my initial research…

After spending a significant amount of time searching for a website and being utterly confused when I couldn’t find one, I realized that Instagram is just a free photo sharing application available to IPhones, IPods, IPads, and any either IOS capable devices. The name apparently comes from a combination of two ideas. One is how the Kodak INSTAmatic Polaroid camera instantly captures a moment in time of what is happening around and gives you the picture within a few seconds. The second part of the name comes from a teleGRAM, which was widely used to deliver a short message. Incase that wasn’t clear…

INSTamatic + teleGRAM = Instagram


So, simplicity and fast sharing may be the reason there is no website. The creators wanted it to be a quick and on-the-go sort-of-a-thing .

I think Instagram’s motto was simplicity and elegance, in which they have achieved. Instagram is so easy a caveman can do it, but no really it is that easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Take a photo on your phone or select one from your library
  2. Apply one of the 11 filters they provide to change the look of your photograph
  3. Share it on Instagram or you can seamlessly link it to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or FourSquare

There are a few other editing techniques like adding a frame or making a focus point of your picture and the rest blurry, but that is pretty much the gist of it. There are no fancy editing techniques or no complicated processes to share it.

My first interaction with Instagram happened without any glitches. I uploaded a few photos and applied different filters to transform the feel of my pictures and make it a little edgier/artsier, which I will share below.  It also allowed me to view which of my friends on Facebook are connected with Instagram, so I immediately got connected with them. It truly is simplicity at its finest.

A picture of me and JJ Watt utilizing the Hudson filter.

A picture of Machu Picchu that I took in Peru and this is what it looks like when you upload it to Instagram.

Another uploaded picture when I was in Pasadena last year!

A picture of the Highline in New York City. I used the tool to focus on the flowers in the middle and blur the rest of the picture!


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