Saturday, 25 January 2014

INSTAGRAM and the art of gentle persuasion! (mostly)

I am having a lot of fun on Instagram (along with 150 million others! ) and was surprised when my daughter-in-law told me a while back that the Instagram team have decided to allow formal advertising - and I quote ...

"In the next couple of months, you may begin seeing an occasional ad in your Instagram  feed if you are in the United States.  Seeing photos and videos from brands you don't follow will be new, so we'll start slow" 

  At first I thought - "Kiss of death"!! .... look what's happened to Facebook.  Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1billion.. and I was thinking how nice that they were leaving Instagram to grow organically without introducing advertising.  Advertising is already happening unofficially on Instagram,   but without any "hard sell" techniques and without any financial spin off going to Instagram/Facebook (that I know of)!     

I have experienced  my unique  "Insta" community to be rather delightful!  There appears to be a certain reverence for politeness (in my circles anyway) and respect and support flow freely!  Advertising by Instagramers has been developing slowly  and up until now, has remained restrained.    Photographs  are used to showcase new arrivals in store,  and/or new developments on websites.   Mostly however,   people use Instagram to share what they enjoy visually. 

Instagram also allows access into the private lives and whereabouts of many international celebrities who sometimes post photos of their daily experiences.  This is a space that even the most persistant paparazzi cannot invade!

Interiors, gardens, crafts, books, dogs and food are some of  my passions,  and I enjoy following people in these fields.    

One, in particular, is Howard Slatkin  a designer who lives in New York and has recently launched his fabulous book "Fifth Avenue Style".   Mr Slatkin,   amusingly posted snippets from his book  weeks before the launch on Instagram.  He  accompanied the posts with the hashtag #spdj - "Shameless plug du jour".  It was this exposure to the delights of his new book that prompted me to order a copy from Amazon... Insta-success!

Another example of the power of Instagram was a photo posted by Oliveaux of a lovely little white cane side table that they carry in their shop.  I got in touch (most people include their websites on their Insta profiles) and bought one.. (see below)

Another favourite is @printeryoysterbay near New York, who produce beautiful handmade stationery of the finest quality (see below)  Have a look at their website - - you won't be disappointed!  


I also know of an instance where Instagram helped  friends to sell their farm.  This beautiful farm in the Southern Highlands NSW is for sale too!

Old friends from South Africa have joined and the opportunity of an  instant, visual "catch-up" is fun!

One can also pass on information which might be of interest to others.   My daughter is very interested in raw food and if I stumble across anything of interest,  I am able to alert her by simply typing her Instagram name on the relevant photo, which will then appear on her news feed.. quick and easy! 

Recipes, food ideas, beautiful interiors, gardens, new products, words to inspire, doggies, sharing holidays and more... it's all there and I have to admit that scrolling through the new photos each day has become a "fix"!

An autumn landscape from New England, a dinner table in New York,  a garden in Hampshire and home-made soup in Western Australia… personal images from all over the world,  floating up the screen continuously.    A while ago,  Instagram introduced a video option which adds to the fun!

It does seem such a shame that the Team at Instagram have made this decision.. perhaps if enough of us complain they might decide against it?

Below are a just a handful of my favourites.. 

I hope all my fellow Australians have had a wonderful Australia Day and wishing everyone a happy Sunday!

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