TL;DR – What is Instagram anyway?
It has been close to nine years since Instagram was launched. The app along with its users have certainly come a long way. From using it to update anything “instantly” in a haphazard way to the current curated content we see on almost everybody’s feed today, what started as a way to inform your friends about the lunch you had that day, is now something you can do more with – in fact, a little way too much.
Let’s take a quick look at what the platform is offering these days.
One of the most primitive functions is Instant Messenger. Do you know that some youngsters these days don’t even ask for phone numbers anymore? They just ask for their Instagram handle at the club. If you are a millennial yourself you would probably be familiar with the saying “Slide (into) your DM.”
Instagram introduced Stories some moons ago to battle Snapchat which they obviously won. Users are then allowed to upload haphazardly-taken short form video content on the go which remains visible for only 24 hours.
To satisfy the hoarder in all of us, Instagram the introduced the Highlight function where you can allow Stories that were meant to stay uploaded for only 24 hours to stay longer than that.
Then influencers started curating their Insta Stories too.
With Stories, you also have functions to insert gif, polls, and pin your location like Swamp which was better known as Foursquare in its heyday. You can also type long-ish thoughts without limitation on the number of characters unlike Twitter, and quite recently they also added a question-asking function similar to Formspring or Spring.me. And if you are a fan of video filter apps such as B216, you too can find such filters on Instagram as well.
If you are not a fan of short form videos, you can start your own livestream video known as Instagram Live where you can interact with your viewers live. They also introduced Instagram TV where users are allowed to upload even longer form of videos.
With these functions in place, it is no surprise that Instagram also introduced video call functions which is similar to FaceTime or Skype.
And of course, it still is a media space for advertisers to promote their products and services. Well, the money has to come from somewhere to feed the team of developers right?
If you already noticed, Instagram is moving towards a direction where it’s an all-in-one app. You can find pretty much everything on the app.
With some of its current e-commerce features on InstaShop where you can tap to shop some of the items featured in your favourite merchants’ posts, I am guessing that Instagram will soon be its own payment gateway. I wouldn’tbe surprised if they eventually overtake other payment gateways such as PayPal.
How do you feel about all these functions? Is Instagram getting too loaded or do you wish to see more functions coming your way?
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