Instagram — an instant addiction

December 6, 2012 — by Amy Jan and Carolyn Sun

Just as MySpace users switched to Facebook, Tumblr users are also switching to Instagram.

Just as MySpace users switched to Facebook, Tumblr users are also switching to Instagram. Now, when people first meet, they sometimes don’t even bother to add each other on Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter. Instead, they ask for each other’s Instagram.

“I like Instagram better than Tumblr because it’s more interesting to browse through when you feel like procrastinating,” senior Eric Tang said. “Instagram is like a filtered version of Tumblr, but with all the good things: dogs and great food.”

The photo-sharing social network, founded by Stanford alumni Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger in 2010, is also a great way to see what friends are up to. Based in San Francisco, the private company was bought by Facebook for about $1 billion in 2012. The companies serve the same purpose, but unlike Facebook, Instagram conveys everything through pictures.

“It’s a great way to stay connected with friends, kind of like Facebook but without all the random activities,” Tang said. “It’s a cool way to share pictures, and all the Instagram effects you can use will make your bad photo look a lot more artistic than it is.”

Senior Nessa Kim got her iPhone a year ago, and Instagram was one of the first apps she downloaded. She continues to use it every day, taking photos of “anything and everything.”

“Wherever I go and whatever I’m doing, I can quickly post a nicely edited photo with my phone,” Kim said. “The photos are original and mine, instead of being recycled like in Tumblr. I liked Tumblr and would post a lot of my Instagram photos on it, but lately when I only have time to update one form of media, it’s Instagram over everything.”

The program provides 18 filters, ranging from the black and white look of “Inkwell” to the saturated colors of “Kelvin” to the warm feeling of “Toaster.” These effects allow people to instantly enhance their photos.

“Very often, I can’t pick between three or four filters that all look equally as good. This is one of my life’s biggest problems,” Kim joked.

Sophomore Jillian Bellamy downloaded the app a few months ago because many of her friends were using it.

“I like the effects because they’re really easy to use,” Bellamy said. “It doesn’t matter what quality it is because one of the effects will make it look better.”

When Kim went to Ecuador over the summer, she posted pictures every day to keep friends updated on her latest activities.

“What was weird was having my iPhone and bringing it up to the treks through the jungles in search of howler monkeys. Other times, I had my iPhone in one hand and a machete in the other,” Kim said.

“Instagram was my way of sharing what I was doing, where I was and who I was in Ecuador.”

Besides keeping up to date with friends’ posts, people can also follow other users that post photos of a specific topic.

“I also follow a lot of travel ig's [Instagrams] and fashion ig's,” Kim said. “It’s a good way to get updated or to get new ideas.”

She even remembers her and Instagram’s anniversary, the day she took a photo with it for the first time.

“It feels weird when I go at least three days without posting something, like a part of me is missing,” Kim said. “It’s become an addiction, but I love every gram of it.”

10 views this week