Alina LewisDec 12, 2014 20:00:55 IST
Last night, Instagram reported that it's userbase had crossed the 300 million mark -- a number that places it ahead of Twitter, which has 284 million users. The photo and video sharing company has grown by a whopping 50 percent in the last few months, with over 70 million photos and videos shared per day.
So what is it about Instagram that makes it so much more attractive than Twitter? What is it about Instagram that makes everyone from Obama to Modi to celebs want to be on it....
Simple - people like images. 93 percent of our communication is non verbal and 60 to 85 percent of individuals describe themselves as visual learners. Studies show that the human brain processes images faster than language. Add a layer of stunning filters and you have a bunch of aesthetes approving of your work of art.
The fact that social networking thrives on the need for making connections with little or no physical meetings, gives photo-sharing apps such as Instagram an added edge with features dedicated to help you tell better stories with photos. To put it simply, fans would rather watch the fleeting moments of Beyonce's life than have it described in 140 -- not so descriptive -- characters.
Sure, Twitter lets you add images too, but the micro-blogging platform is primarily about "tweets" or text messages, circulated around by hashtags. The number of followers you have and ones you follow are dictated majorly by the nature of messages posted by rather than the images they use. In addition, the platform is not exactly optimised for viewing images.
Twitter is flooded with an overwhelming amount of information, news in specific, which makes it ideal for getting first-hand news about what's trending, what's making headlines and reaching out to a large audience in no time. Instagram, on the other hand, is less about news and more about treating yourself visually to a world of interesting topics. There's no doubt a good portion of Instagram dedicated for news, but it does so in a more visual form.
It's like this:
Plus, the mobile nature of Instagram compliments the use of smartphone cameras that are getting more and more advanced. This allows for instant photo and video sharing that don't necessarily rely on witty captions to engage your followers. All you need is an interesting photo that does all the talking for you.
Twitter has obviously seen a shift toward image-based social media, which is why we've seen a series of updates rolled out encouraging users to share photos along with tweets. It recently updated its iOS and Android app to allow users to add Instagram-like filters for photos. Twitter users will also be able to record, edit and share videos by the first half of 2015.
After Facebook acquired Instagram, the photo-sharing app has upped the ante by adding a host of new features. The launch of Hyperlapse added a complete new dimension to video sharing, which was unique to Instagram. More recently, it updated the search feature to help you search for specific photos and people, and gave users the option to edit captions of their photos. The latter is a feature most Twitter users would wish to see on the app and website.
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