Quick pics

2013-06-11 11:53

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

It’s a sign of the times: people permanently bent over their smartphones. But one app has caused a revolution that makes people look up, look down and look again – through their smartphone’s camera lens.

In the beginning

Kevin Systrom, 29, and Mike Krieger, 27, introduced Instagram to the public in October 2012. The idea for Instagram grew from their love of photography.

‘We always thought to take interesting photos you need a big bulky camera and a couple of years at art school, but when smartphones started getting better, we decided to challenge that assumption.’

The network was an instant hit and grew fast – in less than two years it had 100 million users.

In April 2010 Facebook bought Instagram (with its 13 employees) for $1 billion (about R9.6 billion).

What is instagram?

A smartphone app that allows users to take photos, apply digital filters and share the photos on other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. There are 19 filters to choose from, but users can also upload their

How do you get started?

Download the free app from the iTunes App Store for iPhones, or Google Play store for Android devices. Follow the instructions to set up your profile.

Remember: Your photos are public unless you choose to set them to private.

Do it yourself: #WHP

A fun way to be part of the global Instagram community is the Weekend Hashtag Project. Every week the team at Instagram headquarters announce a theme on their Instagram profile.

Users then take photos depicting the theme over the weekend and mark it with that week’s hashtag. The best photos of the weekend are shared on the Instagram blog.

Follow the Instagram profile (@Instagram) and look out for the photo that announces the #WHP theme on Fridays. www.blog.instagram.com

How to do it

  1. Take a photo with your smartphone camera and open Instagram.
  2. Click on Instagram’s camera icon.
  3. Click on the thumbnail of the photo next to the camera icon to select it.
  4. Click on the crop icon and crop your photo (cut off what you don’t like).
  5.  Choose a filter and click ‘next’.
  6. Write a caption and identify your photo with a #hashtag. You can then share it on Facebook, Twitter or other networks.
  7.  Your photo appears on the timeline of all Instagram users who follow you. If you use a hashtag, it will be visible to other users searching for that hashtag.


Nice to meet you!

The Instagram community is not just active on the web.

‘Instameets’ – events where Instagram users get together to socialise and take photos – is a big trend worldwide.

Gareth Pon, a 26-year-old creative from Johannesburg, is the coordinator of the South African Instagram society, which organises meetings in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and other towns.

Gareth has been using Instagram for two years and loves the immediacy and simplicity of it. ‘I think it’s popular because it’s accessible. People aren’t scared to share their photos on Instagram.’

He describes the Instameets he’s been part of as dynamic meetings between people where friendships and professional relationships are built.

Vintage Instagram

This is the first photo that was loaded on Instagram. The foot belongs to Instagram developer Kevin Systrom’s girlfriend.

The dog’s identity is not known. Feet and dogs have since become popular subjects for Instagram photos. Other hits are food, cats, sunsets and ‘selfies’ – self-portraits taken with one hand.

Gareth Pon’s Instagram dos and don’ts

  •  Discover the community and meet people.
  •  Learn how to compose a good photo.
  •  Learn how to work with light in your photos.
  •  Experiment.

  • Don’t just use Instagram to share photos – develop it into an art medium.
  • Don’t edit your photos too much.
  • Don’t upload photos of your food.


  • 100 - million active monthly users
  • 40 000 000 photos per day are shared on Instagram
  • 8500 - ‘likes’ per second
  • 18 to 24 - age of biggest group of users – this group includes 34% of Instagram users
  • 1 million - the amount of times Instagram was downloaded in one day in 2012 when it was introduced for Android devices.

» Get your copy of iMag in City Press on Sundays.

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