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Visual Storytelling 3.0: The Rise and Rise of Instagram

How the Internet’s favourite photo sharing platform adapts and thrives in our digital age.

Visual Storytelling 3.0: The Rise and Rise of Instagram

Working its way into so many area of our lives - even as the boundaries between them dissolve and transform - Instagram remains the platform of choice for creative brands and individuals with a story to tell, from communicating complex messages to creating sophisticated marketing campaigns.



The power of Instagram’s popular users has been leveraged for some time now by canny brands that understand their influence. Otherwise unknown individuals have found their niche, garnering millions of followers in the process. For brands, this is gold: the audiences are not only new, but also often very narrowly targeted... and the opportunities are almost endless. From product placement to brand ambassadorship to event coverage, the benefits of partnering with a well-aligned Instagram influencer are so well recognised by now, that the marketplace for middleman agencies is getting crowded.



In December 2016, Instagram’s active user base hit 600 million: a number double that of just two years previously. It’s no wonder traditional publishers are doing a double take. Longform journalism site, The Virginia Quarterly Review, was among the first to experiment with the concept of producing in-depth written stories to accompany striking images. The approach has helped engage new audiences and offers a compelling alternative to the way stories are consumed elsewhere online, including other social media.



Credit: The VQR True Story by Michael O. Snyder // Header: http://www.bolt.com



As with journalism, the microblogging movement takes advantage of Instagram’s caption capability, combining words and images to create a novel kind of storytelling, which in turn fosters new audiences and modes of engagement. Though accompanying captions are long by Instagram’s standards, the need for brevity translates to succinct, digestible stories that offer insights into individuals’ lives. Plus, the usability of the platform encourages spontaneity and hashtags instantly connect people based on their interests.



The 2015 addition of a Shop Now button for business accounts was a game-changer for brands, which up until then were unable to redirect users to their online shop. Much more recently, Instagram trialled its shoppable tags feature, letting selected retailers tag certain products in each image. Users can then tap a button to view the tags and tap again to be taken to a product page featuring further details, pricing and an option to purchase it online. Once the testing phase is over, the feature will likely be rolled out to the rest of the platform’s business community.



Credit: https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/01/instagram-shoppable-photos/

23 / 03 / 2017 // by LigaStudios Team


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