What Instagram means to me

Hi, I’m @missleilah, and I used to be part of the Instgramers Cape Town community but I’ve since moved to London and am now a London iger. A big moment for me this year was when I got to meet two really amazing girls – @missunderground and @movethemoon (two igers whose work I’ve always admired) -at my first London instameet.

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Instagram, for me, is a very sensitive subject. It’s one of those subjects that i can go on talking about for hours, when I do open up about it, because I am so immensely passionate about everything it stands for, it’s more than a social network, a platform for my un-photography – it’s a community that I care for deeply. And you ask how can I care about people I don’t even know? It’s just an app, right?

Instagram, for me, is one of those things where you can enjoy it by just signing up as if it were any other platform. But once you unlock the additional content, the Easter Eggs, it opens up a whole new world for you to explore.

There has always been two Instagram audiences. As much as the founders want to ignore it and insist that the entire Instagram user base falls part of the community, we all know that’s a lie. Because in reality, there’s the first layer of users who use it like it’s any other social network, they may come across community posts but are not phased by it, because they are not obsessed about the app. Then there’s the layer 2 users; the users who’ve been exposed to the other side of Instagram:

  • The instameets
  • The obsession of having a picture perfect gallery
  • Or creating separate accounts to segment your themes
  • The hashtag culture
  • The collabs
  • The feature accounts (and that feeling you get when you get your first @Shotaward feature)
  • Instagram’s WHP
  • And of course, the Suggested User status