[twitter]Instagram is now over 6 months old. I know, we’ve got a 6 month old on our hands and is it time to talk about some etiquette for your activity on the photo-sharing app? We think so.
Because of an amazing architectural rendering instructor, Mike Lynn, I adopted a mantra: “BE LOOSE.” I don’t really enjoy strict rules or saying that people should act one way or another. At the same time, I think that etiquette is pretty important as we move into massive use with Instagram. We want to keep Instagram as a really positive place to share moments, memories, and really awesome photography.
Posting Photos Not Taken with Instagram
Is it etiquette to only post photos that were taken through the Intagram App native camera? Most, if not all, people with an iPhone will agree that you don’t need to shoot your images with the native camera found within the Instagram app. There are some camera apps that do have different functions for focus and white balance, but you’re still using the iPhone camera. You’re still very limited with your iPhoneography and thus I don’t think anyone should ever worry about sharing an iPhone photo in such a social app. Share photos taken with any camera and taken within any iPhone app. This happily leads to the next topic in Instagram etiquette.
Mobile Photography or DSLR?
Are we cool if we share some of our DSLR photography within a mobile sharing app like Instagram? We’re cool with any photo shared because we like to look at awesome photography. That said, in our opinion, this gets a little more debatable. If you’re sharing an image not shot with your iPhone (Hopefully using Instagram for Android soon) or iPad 2, please take a moment and tag it so. Instagram users are already asking if the shot was done with the iPhone or not. As I said, I honestly don’t care if you’re sharing mobile photography only or photography shot with you D3x. The problem, at this point, is that we can’t try and pretend a photograph was created with a mobile device when it wasn’t. Perhaps many people sharing their DSLR, edited photography, are not interested in trying to game anything; however, I am certain some people are relishing in the additional likes they’ve received from such images.
Is it too much to ask for a #dslr tag? Or for the camera fanatics, you could tag it with your DSLR model – #D3x or #Mark2.
Take a look at an opinion from Johan Rooms:
Posting DSLR photos on Instagram is like showing off your motor bike at the kids’ playground, sure professional photos, but not the right channel, an icon/button for this might be overkill though.
I believe the majority of people are shooting the images with only an iPhone or iPad 2 now. The amazing interest I have with Instagram is seeing what people are capable of with mobile photography. I’m also interested in the use of photo editing apps on high resolution DSLR images because of the opportunity they present to us as photographers; however, I hope more and more people decide to tag such images as they explore and experiment. Or as noted in our Instagram Wishlist, we wish for the ability to drill down into EXIF source of a photo if we so desired.
In the mean time, I’ve established my own way to distinguish between my mobile photography and my DSLR type images. If I don’t tag the image, it’s from my iPhone. If I do tag the image, it’s been taken with my #dslr. Any photo that isn’t tag is automatically assumed to be mobile.
Just be upfront?
Photo Sharing and Your Feed
Does it matter how many photos your share in a short period of time? I’ve seen some Instagram users post many new images in the span of under a minute. At this point, I, myself, am not that bothered by it; however, I have seen people commenting in some shots asking the user to take a breather. I understand their point and it’s why I’m bringing it up related to etiquette on Instagram.
Let’s think about the impact of posting many updates at once, but let’s not look at Instagram. Instead, how about we look at another social media channel we’re all familiar with today: Twitter. On Twitter, people don’t like one person clogging up their Twitter stream. If someone were to tweet 15 times in a minute, it becomes bothersome. A couple times is normal sometimes. Of course, clogging a feed could also happen if the follower only follows a few people that happen to tweet consistently through the day. The persons feed is going to be full twitter updates from the same people no matter how often they update.
Back to the first scenario, imagine how the people that follow you on Twitter would feel if you posted 15 instagram images that went into Twitter at the same time – totally possible within Instagram. People that follow you would get really angry and ask you to turn off the link from Instagram to Twitter. At the same time, people within Instagram are starting to push back on the same issue. Do what you do, but just realize that you may get some people starting to question you or unfollow you. Personally, you’re refining your follower list to people seriously interested in your feed; however, it’s important to think about this situation.
[Remember, feel free to disagree with me on any of this and make a case in the comments.]
Here is where I find sharing multiple photos [all at once] okay:
If someone is taking interesting images with the iPhone and creating something worth looking at, I don’t make it at all. Infact, one of the ways I love browsing the Instagram feed is with The InstaGallery App. Using InstaGallery on my iPhone or iPad, I can tap the screen to ONLY display the Instagram photos and not show the usernames. This gives me a much more objective look at each photograph as it comes into view. I don’t become concerned with who shared what or how quickly they are sharing images.
The important point is to share images that are moments that you are really happy about or proud of. Ones that you feel your followers would love to see in their feed. That half crooked photo of the ceiling probably didn’t need to get in your feed. Just sayin’
Instagram is what you make it. You decide what goes on and you create your own experience. There really aren’t any rules to follow – you’re not limited to 140 characters or 2 photos per day. The only restriction is that you can only share one photo at a time. We love Instagram so much that we want to see it continue to stay a really positive place for sharing photography and media.
Shoot with any app and any camera! We don’t care because we just want to see what you’re seeing out there in the World.
Be kind and tag your images shot with something other than an iPhone [or Android one day - I'm prayin' for you all]. Saves you from having to answer a question later.
Consider others as you share your own photos. Maybe you should pause a minute or two before sharing that next amazing shot. Browse some images that are being shared by the people you follow and comment on a few of them. After that, go share another shot or two. That’s how I have been trying to operate within Instagram and it’s been nice. I think you’ll find Instagram even more enjoyable too.
Is there anything you feel should be added to the list of Instagram Etiquette? We’d love to know if there is something that grinds your gears as you look at your news feed or social image feed. Should we add anything related to posting other peoples photos?
Show us you’re out there by giving feedback on these issues and if there’s something you want to address!
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