Instagram and Contemporary Image

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From the moment Instagram app was released in 8/2010 until today (6/2017), the company did not allow posting of photos to Instagram from any other app. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom explained this unique characteristic in the blog post (05/02/2013):

“Since our launch in October of 2010, we’ve focused on building a simple app that has inspired creativity while capturing everyday moments through the lens of your mobile phone. In fact, our focus on building out a mobile-only experience is a unique path that we’ve chosen for many reasons, the most important of which is that Instagram, at its core, is about seeing and taking photos on-the-go… We do not offer the ability to upload from the web as Instagram is about producing photos on the go, in the real world, in realtime.” (12)

I simply want to note how platforms such as Instagram make us realize how incredibly heterogeneous other media were (and continue to be), and how incredibly partial and biased are their samples we have been using to construct historical and theoretical accounts.

Instagram’s logically simple structure during the period this book investigates—the use of a singular device and the single Instagram app (for the majority of the users) with the same UI (user interface) worldwide, the standardization of image sizes and proportion up to middle of 2015, and standardization of how dates and geographic information are recorded—make us realize the older mediums we are used to discussing as singular entities are really just fictions of our historicizing imagination. (14)

역시 이 사람은 늘 뭔가 짧고 얕아서 아쉽다. instgram도 마찬가지지뭐. 

Another behavior which Instagram and other social media platforms support is, of course, sharing. Using Instagram app, you can share your photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Mixi, Weibo, VK, and other platforms. This sharing behavior does not have direct historical equivalent in media history as far as I can see. (17P)

This convergence of functions in a single interface, combined with strong constraints on image aesthetics are key aspects of a media platform as exemplified by Instagram.

In our view, doing this often prevents researchers from looking at the cultural phenomena in their full diversity and specificity, and instead encourages them to only notice examples that fit such concepts. The theoretical positions to which these concepts belong commonly assume that a researcher or a professional is situated “above” what she or he studies… If your goal is to “liberate” people from any aspect of their current lives, it means that you disrespect these lives. 자신의 리서치가 moral하거나 Ctirital stance가 아닌 이유. THIS is interesting.





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