Instagram is overrun with new users, and Netiquette columnists have advice on how to use it
Dear readers: Help stave off the horror that is blurry shots of food-caked children
Don't flood users' feeds with 15 shots of your new puppy
Instagram has had a big, big, big last couple of weeks: Its Android app dropped at the beginning of April, and Facebook recently acquired the photo-sharing service for a whopping $1 billion.
The result of all this attention? A flood of new users, swelling Instagram’s user count up to 50 million.
So what does this mean for the fate of everyone’s favorite photo app? It’s probably going to get a whole lot more annoying.
Yup, those salad days are about to end, folks. That glorious period in which Walden-filtered snaps of Walden Pond mingled with Earlybird-tinged mountainsides and cats made classic with a dash of 1977-bred nostalgia. The end is nigh, we say!
Steel yourself: We’re about to see an influx of photo-happy parents, drunken college kids and, horror of horrors, even more pheromone-crazed teens with accounts entirely dedicated to prepubescent boy bands.
In preparation for the onslaught, we’re asking you, dear readers, to take stock of your own Instagrammed souls. Dig deep and evaluate how you can help stave off the horror that is blurry shots of food-caked children and one’s sparkly manicure.
We’re all guilty of Inane-gramming (verb: To thoughtlessly snap and share snaps with no regard for our followers’ feelings), and while it’s your inalienable right to share and share alike, you can probably agree that at least one in five of the transgressions below should be quashed.
Translation: Don’t do these:
1). Myspacing all over the place
We get it, Instagram is supposed to be a photo feed depicting your life and all the many interesting factions of it (I knit! I canoe! I collect severed heads in my freezer! Call the cops!). A self-snap is, consequently, totally OK once in a while – especially if you just got a new haircut/tattoo/head for your collection (seriously, your phone isn’t just a camera – call the cops). However, don’t you have any, I don’t know, friends? If not, you’re not going to make any pouting into the camera, your mien made even more morose via the Inkwell filter.
2). Flooding the feed
Just took 15 photos of your new puppy in various stages of repose (He’s in a sunbeam! He just turned over! He shifted a little out of the sunbeam! He just turned over again!)? Awesome! We’re glad you’re pleased with your pet-buying prowess! Upload one and save the rest to your phone for personal perusing – we don’t need a flipbook. If you must needs overshare, might we suggest downloading GIF Shop? This iPhone app allows you to turn all your snaps into a rad animated GIF.
3). Getting overly textual
This faux pas is more Instagram’s fault than users’ – since the app doesn’t have private messaging, it can be really hard to flirt with– I mean, carry on a conversation with another user without cluttering up the comments section of a photo. Luckily for the chattier folks among us, there’s instaDM, an iPhone/Web app that makes it easy to converse privately with other users. Once downloaded, please refer to our article about how to hit on people online without being a creeper.
4). Being a camera cheat
Guys: The whole point of Instagram is that it lets anyone with a phone and some vague sense of composition take an awesome photo – a filter fixes pretty much anything (Even your face! Burn…). Taking a snap with a really good camera and then uploading it to Instagram is like enrolling in a kindergarten-level finger-painting class and bringing your own oil paints (and brush). Leave us to our delighted muddlings – we implore you.
5). Being an easy target for a parody Twitter account
Check out @textinstagram. Adjust accordingly.