I know I’ve said this before — download Instagram for your iPhone asap. If you’re a band, a store, a radio station, a venue owner, you need this app. Not to help sell more tickets and merch, not to build some crazy big marketing campaign, but to flesh out your identity in a short-form world.
Gone are flash intros, gone are intricate websites, gone are WORDS. As the world gets more & more ADD, we are moving away from long-form everything and gravitating towards quick bits.
What makes Instagram so special is that it requires minimal dedication, but can yield long-term rewards. You can use Instagram to shiny up your pictures with pretty filters and post them to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, even email! Through Instagram, you can show fans & friends things you find interesting, behind the scenes shots, and over time, a log of your life in one continuous photo stream.
At some point an app will come around that will pull your pictures from Instagram and lay them out in a beautiful form on your iPad, whether it be a framed photo stream or a scrapbook format, maybe even soundtracked to your iTunes playlist. As of this writing, a third party just launched a browser-based version of Instagram (which is app-only) called Extragram, using data supplied by Instagram’s API.
While you’re at it, check out former imeemer Steve Jang’s latest creation, Soundtracking — this iPhone app is like Shazam meets Instagram meets Fourquare meets Twitter, where you can ID a song, add a picture to it, tag your location, and even offer a short explanation of why you like the song, and then share it with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, all in a matter of seconds.
Both of these lead to a crucial point for everybody moving forward — IMAGE IS EVERYTHING. If our world is hurling towards viewing little bitty pictures on little bitty phones, then you need to make sure that every piece of brand collateral is iconic and recognizable from afar. No more muddy artwork, no more complex t-shirt designs. Click on “Trending” on Soundtracking or “Popular” on Instagram and there you have it — your image reduced to the size of a fraction of a postage stamp. Can you recognize your own CD cover from 20 feet away? Can you make out the images on your t-shirt 40 feet away? If not, work on it.
One last — if you need more proof that we are moving towards an image-based world, the Beastie Boys, THE BEASTIE BOYS, have funneled all their channels to a Tumblr-based blog. Tumblr! For anyone not familiar with Tumblr, check it out — it has a strong visuals-based bias, is dead-simple to set up, and even easy to update from your phone. Every aspect is easy to share on other platforms, and will surpass WordPress as the blogging platform of choice in the next two years.