A Case Study of the “Instagram” iPhone App by Zac Mac Cune

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Yesterday Zachary MacCune, a young and “new” London Instagramer contacted with me through Twitter.

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Zachary a.k.a @zmccune just finished a study on Instagram for a Master’s degree and found interesting to share it with me.

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These last days, many articles have been published around “Instagram Addiction”  (full press releases on our about section)

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I was just reading an article called Why Instagram is so Popular? which describes main success factors of our fav app (Simple use, filters, constant updatings, community, diversity of pics and development of third parties Api…) but find much more interesting to have a look to this young student point of view far from current Social Media analysts sights.

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His study is based on a 3 months search centered on a 4 weeks ethnography, attendance of a London meetup, and analysis of 23 open-response user surveys...

… Rather than offering a theoretical response to this question, or attempting a macro-assessment of Instagram use, this study engages “iPhoneography” from an experiential lens of using the Instagram app, and communicating directly with other Instagram users.

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As Zachary admits, The results perhaps don´t allow us to offer generalized conclusions but provide an intimate account of Instagram use and show social media users as concerned with both personal production and social reception”.

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I decided to publish this humble student study far from large consultancy budgets with interesting datas.

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Check here the summary of his interesting report!

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Six trends of motivation emerged.

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1. Sharing!

Marked by an expressed desire for open exchange of images with people throughout the Instagram network + “Possessing a view in common with others” was also stressed, as a published image is enjoyed simultaneously among any number of users, and may be used as the site of an emergent conversation

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2. Documentation

- Urge to capture, record, or preserve experiences that felt transient to users.

- More a reflection on photography generally then on Instagram use itself

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3. Seeing

- Belief that Instagram allows one to “look through the eyes of others” and present one’s own viewpoint for a similar exchange of vision + Included belief that publishing images provided “visual status updates” allowing friends to share in each other’s life events.

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4. Community

The thrill of getting responses from other users, a sense of audience, and the pro ductive incentives of social interaction + Belief that ‘InstaSociety’ improved individual photography, encouraged users to take more photos, and allowed users to think of their photography more artistically with a response critical framework

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5. Creativity

Characterized Instagram as a “creative outlet” or space for “artistry” + Also stressed the power of Instagram (as an app and a community) to improve one’s photographic skills (craftsmanship) by sharing tips and critiques through comments

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6. Therapy

Presented image sharing as a type of “stress release” leading to “healing” or sense of “well-being” + Users reported the validation they got from the Instagram community as empower ing and encouraging, crossing social anxieties or physical ailments and distances

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Zachary added more details and findings available here in his full report.

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Thanks Zachary, to share with Instagramers.com these interesting results.

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@philgonzalez

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More about Zachary McCune. Check his Twitter profile here.

Zach is a digital media and culture researcher. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture & Media in 2010.

This research on Instagram represents the final part of his work for a Masters in Sociology from the University of Cambridge (expected graduation July 2011). Zack is the Founding Editor of the digital art blog A New Day’s Work.

This summary is taken from an 80-page dissertation by the same title prepared as a final dissertation for the degree of M. Phil. in Sociology at the University of Cambridge.