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The Instagram Phenomenon

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Adeline Chow

on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of The Instagram Phenomenon

The Instagram Phenomenon
Instagram is a smartphone photo editing application that also provides a social networking platform for its users.
Popular Culture
The depth of meaning are being questioned
suggests that people are capable of original thoughts and the author's intention or interpretation is no longer relevant. What matters are the viewer's interpretation.

Death of the Author
Social media phenomenon are created based on popular culture and people's behavior in the society, it has a repeating pattern. Much like time being cyclical. Also with the popularity of one app, other copies of the copy form such as Fleck, Pumpic and many more similar ones. Products related to it are also created such as Instagram photo printing services, Socialmatic digital camera that prints Instagram photo instantly which refers back to the idea of Polaroid camera and a web page interface of the app.

It seems like the definition of a dialogue has changed with the rising usage of smartphone devices. The small community that Instagram creates actually diverses user into different groups and in long term creates a sense of lost in time and space as well as afraid of being fragmented from the group.

Emphasizes the activities in everyday life and is constantly changing base on local culture and behaviors.

The trend of retro photography has become growing in the past few years and the idea of Instagram is being able to produce Polaroid, instant film camera that were highly popular in the 60's and 70's, looking images instantly on a smartphone and share it with people in the same culture or have common interests. Visual effect and style become more important than its meaning and function.
In this postmodern era, the information is in an open system where everything is a free flow and people can have access to almost anything they seek to know on the internet. However, postmodernists argue that there is no absolute truth. Since people have the power to add or change information on the internet, this challenges the reliability of information. We live in a society where everything is defined by images and representations and knowingly people are attracted to images with strong visual impact.
IAT 206 E101

Intertextuality refers to copies of the same form with a reference. Images adapting old ideas without adding new meanings.
Due to the rapid growing amount of users, the amount of images like this has increased as well.

images refer to each other, one representing the other as well as representing the reality . The filter effect feature of Instagram creates images that does not reflect reality as it is, instead creating an illusion of another reality.
This leads to an unclear sense of distinguish between image and reality.

The use of filter creates confusion of image and reality

Also what the media presents represent the reality and giving media the power to manipulate what people receive, hence viewer becomes passive.
It may seem like popular photos are shown based on users' likes
After all Instagram get to decide what photos are being shown on the popular page
Guy Debord (1967), "Society of the Spectacle". Retrieved from http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/pub_contents/4
Ronald Barthes (1977), “The Death of the Author”
Jade Price (2012), "Photography's retro revolution explored". Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/news/photography-video-capture/photography-s-retro-revolution-explored-1078533

Hipstamatic is an earlier photo editing application with similar functions and ideas. Instagram is an hybrid of various social media platform. It adapts features from Twitter such as hashtag, tagging people and followers. It also include features from Facebook such as microblog and likes.
People are being exposed to wide range of information freely from around the world and this could lead to a sense of lost in space and time.
Adeline Chow
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