”’Instagram is not about filters, said Systrom. “The defensible asset is the community, nowhere else would you find such passionate users.‘” (From TechCrunch)
This means a lot to me, and probably most of the Instagram Evangelists around the world, and it is something I have blogged about in the past. The Instagram team, most notably Josh Riedel and Jess Zollman, have been supportive and encouraging to the Instagram organizers like myself as long ago as February.They see the importance of cultivating a community of brand evangelists.
But the media coverage of Instagram usually focuses on numbers (millions of users, photos, etc) and the filters, saying the app makes cellphone photos look “good” or “vintage.” (if you see the comments on some of these articles, some photography fans really hate Instagram). This is not a bad thing, nor do I dispute the truth to it.
In my opinion, of the 14 million users, most of them use the app infrequently to share photos with friends. I think Systrom is referring to the community of evangelists and super-users who keep people coming back to the app by organizing meetups, photowalks, contests, and competitions. This gives users a reason to return to the app, rather than just snapping a photo, sharing it, and closing the app.
And for Kevin Systrom to stand on stage at the largest social media event in Europe, where Instagram has a huge user base, is extremely significant… and I couldn’t be happier!