Instagram celebrated its 400 millionth active user yesterday, surpassing Twitter as the second biggest social network and all but signalling blue bird of microblogging’s demise.
Surprised? Don’t be. We’ve entered a photo age far advanced from when Twitter first felt revolutionary circa 2006. Smartphones with good cameras are ubiquitous. Sharing your private life in pictures is the new normal while sharing what’s on your mind in 140-characters is barbaric. You might as well scrawl it on the wall of a cave because that’s how ANCIENT it is.
Besides, it takes a certain wit and wisdom to convey a thought or “What happening?” in the concise restrictions of 140-characters. A wit and wisdom 400 million people simply don’t feel like flexing when they have the option to share a thousand word missive on how totally awesome and dope this music festival is with a single, filtered picture. #TagForLikes!
And maybe it’s just me, but for me, there’s nothing that gets my serotonin dripping like an Instagram Like. Where a Twitter favourite or retweet could be boiled down to say, “Yes, this was funny,” every Instagram Like is like, “Hey, your personal brand is awesome” which is sick because monetizing your already totally awesome lifestyle is what everyone dreams about. Can you offer us that in 140-characters, Twitter?
Every time that little white-on-orange heart appears at the bottom of the screen, you are one step closer to corporate sponsorship. And not like faceless corporations. Like cool, Instagram-friendly corporations like Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, American Express, Virgin Airlines, Converse, Top Shop, Vans, Coca-Cola and so many more dope brands that just want to send you to Coachella 2, which is like Coachella but in a secret location nowhere near Coachella Valley and only for Instagram celebrities and all your favourite artists are hologrammed to ensure quality.
Where Instagram is trying to get you hooked up with swag, Twitter is more concerned with making it easier for politicians to have selective memories. Not gonna throw a Like on that, that’s for sure.
Overall, Instagram passing Twitter is great because pics > words any day of the week. Soon we’ll be able to jettison words entirely in favour for pics. My only regret is tweeting over 500 times since July on @TheNicessist. Quipping on a sinking ship, that’s what that is.