Instagram is one of the most popular platforms today that allows online photo sharing and social networking. Just released in 2010, Instagram currently has 100 million active users with 40 million photos uploaded and shared everyday.
While many praise Instagram for its advantages in promoting a business, this trendy app also has disadvantages. Here are several reasons why Instagram may not be a great marketing vehicle:
1. Not everybody has an iOS or Android phones. Although Android and iOS are the top two most widely used smartphone operating systems, with a combined 87.6% of smartphones shipped worldwide, it is problematic that Instagram is only available as an iPhone and Android app. This photo sharing app excludes mobile users who have Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, or Linux. There is still a great percentage of consumers that you will not be able to reach when you use Instagram in promoting your business.
2. It is a highly technological tool. Business owners using Instagram must ensure they are producing professional pictures of their products or services and giving the correct message to their audience. Posting the perfect image can be done through trial and error but you have to consider whether the time you spent in perfecting the photo could have been put to better use.
3. Instagram has limited features. Instagram enables users to resize images and enhance pictures through a variety of filters, 18 effects in all, such as X-Pro II, Rise, or Early Bird. However, each new option needs to be installed, or has a fee. As an entrepreneur, you have to be smart with where you put your money. True, Instagram can be an amazing tool for marketing but there are other social media platforms which you can use and are completely free.
4. Loss of copyright ownership. Olivier Laurent of the British Journal of Photography wrote an article about the risk of social media, particularly Instagram, to professional photographers. Instagram is a great venue to store, caption and share photos but the fear of Facebook using Instagram to generate revenues makes photographers rethink how they use the photo sharing app. According to John Stanmeyer, one of the original founders of the VII Photo agency, “We’ve become complacent with the only commodity we have as photographers – our copyright – in our near unfettered embrace of sharing our content with for-profit companies such as Instagram.”