I quit Instagram a few months back but lately I’ve been itching to get back in. For a hobbyist photographer like myself Instagram is a tremendous platform indeed to a connect with and draw inspiration from other photographers in the world. I really get a kick out of seeing people take amazing pictures and I use that as motivation to get off my ass. I'd thought I could live without this mechanism when I deleted the app but withdrawal symptoms are strong.
And admittedly the sweet dopamine hit from photos of beautiful Instagram models isn’t the worst thing in the world.
But every time I’m inclined to reactivate the account, Instagram gives fresh new reasons to deter me. In the never-ending bid to sell more advertisements, the app recently launched IGTV, allowing users to upload long-form videos up to one hour in length. For all practical purposes it’s a Youtube-like ecosystem within Instagram; yet another feature I couldn't care less about much like the Snapchat-copying ‘Stories’.
Whatever happened to the simple app of yesteryear where the only thing on the feed were squared photographs with filters applied? Instagram have morphed into a photo-centric version of Facebook, replete with ads and algorithms (rest in peace, chronological feed). I guess it makes sense: the founders made it out like bandits after selling Instagram for over a billion dollars so naturally Facebook is heavily incentivized to monetize the heck out of the app to recoup the investment.
So now we’ve even got people launching a car magazine using Instagram as the main platform. The app isn’t purely about photographs anymore, and that is very sad. The more media appendages they add the more I don’t want to go back. Complexity killed the cat.