Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Assignment #7: Social Media

Why Instagram is the best social media app

Some social media apps - photo from http://s3.amazonaws.com

First, let's look at a brief history of social media.  According to Wikipedia, "Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks."  Social media has been around as long as the internet.  Before the Web, there were bulletin board systems that users could dial into, to discuss their favorite TV show, hobby, etc.  Where there are multiple users online, there are always arguments, it seems!  Then there were chat boards for online services such as AOL, Prodigy, Delphi and CompuServe, as well as Usenet newsgroups.  Most people who were online used these services. There were not yet many local ISPs or Web browsers. History of Social Media Video

A brief history of social media - https://www.dgtraffic.com

Once the Web developed and became more popular, there were many more chat rooms, message boards, forums and email lists where people could have discussions about anything and everything. In the early days of the Web, most people also used Geocities, Classmates, Six Degrees and more. The first use of the term "social media"was in 1997. The phrase was coined by an AOL executive.  Video: Retro Review- BBS

Most people didn't use the term, though, until after the turn of the century.  MySpace was the first really popular social media site, from 2005-2009.  Facebook and Twitter became accessible to all in 2006 and then displaced MySpace as users flocked to the newer social media. Instagram started in 2010 and was bought by Facebook. It's very different from the other social media sites/apps because it's primarily for pictures and videos, not text. Video: What Ever Happened to Everyone's Friend MySpace Tom?

Facebook Privacy Concers - photo from https://www.marketingcharts.com
Complaints about Facebook and Twitter include: too much arguing; worrying about whether posts expose you to identity theft or can harm you in future employment; exposure to stalkers, trolls and spammers; and annoying ads or aggressive marketing. Video: Why I Like Twitter Better Than Facebook

Instagram avoids most of these problems. For one thing, there are no groups, the way there are in Facebook; so you can avoid strangers a lot more easily. It's been my experience that, unless you have thousands of followers, you won't get many comments, just likes.

Instagram users must post a photo (not just comments). You can post comments with the photo, but not alone.  Also, most users post to Instagram with their phone or tablet because it's difficult to post from a computer. There's only one Windows app for posting on Instagram, and it doesn't work all that well. I believe that it's more difficult to post long comments on a phone or tablet, than on a computer, so that is probably another factor.

Lastly, links posted on Instagram are not clickable. Instagram followers can copy and paste the link, but I think that most people are too lazy to do that.  Instagram will only allow a clickable link if you are very popular, or if you purchase an ad. Unpaid marketing on Instagram is not as useful as  marketing as Twitter/Facebook, since you can only provide one link (in your bio).

 Between the eye-pleasing photos and videos that users post, the lack of arguments, and the fact that fewer spammers or marketers can use it effectively, I believe that Instagram is a much friendlier, nicer social media platform than any of the others.

The only drawback to Instagram, just like the other apps, is that there are ads. It's easy to scroll past or hide them, though.

screencap of my Instagram page

I enjoy Instagram because I like taking photos of beautiful things, with a great camera, and sharing them with everyone (especially friends). I post daily, and often, and I have over 700 followers. Some of my friends have followed me there from Facebook.  Besides posting, I love seeing other people's photos of their pets, their children, and their lives as well as funny memes. I enjoy following many celebrities there as well. It's just a fun app to use without all of the drama that you might find in other social media apps.

Please follow me @suzannelanoue  

Cartoon: Before Instagram - photo from https://wronghands1.com

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