Instagram to engage communities

As soon as Instagram was launched in 2010, instagrammers popped up in Brazil. Among them were fashion bloggers, models, TV hosts, and athletes. The most successful accounts since the beginning, however, have been those which that talk about fitness.

On Instagram anonymous people become national recognizes personalities talking about diet, exercises and good shape. Gabriela Pugliesi is one of these cases of success. A regular girl who started posting about her struggling to maintain weight and low-calorie recipes, and in front of a vigilant audience completely reshaped her body and lifestyle. She has attracted millions of followers and the advertisers eyeballs as well. I remember following her, buying the products she advertised and loosing weight. As Pugliesi, in less than six years, instagrammers became not only famous but also “rich”. The press speculates that some people can make up to $ 80-thousand per month, believe it!

All right, Instagram is good to make money. However, this is only possible because the platform is a really powerful tool to engage communities around the same subject, and these communities are the perfect targets to related brands.

Ryan Fitzgibbon, the founder of Hello Mr. magazine, identified a lack of gay magazines that speak to people that are not stereotypes, but regular people who have fears and desires as we all have. As the line of text at the bottom of the pages says, it is a magazine “about men who date men”. With thoughtful articles and wonderful design, Hello Mr. is engaging a community.

“A lot of people look forward to what I’m doing and it’s proving to really make a difference in some people’s lives” — he said to The Daily Beast.

The articles are published in printed issues and Fitzgibbon decided not to make texts available on the website. However, he offers many different perks to his community. From a playlist on Spotify to wonderful images on Instagram. And the most interesting thing I heard from him is that some actions with brands on Instagram are making the print issues possible, what means that the money is coming from the community-driven platform. Although this is not his main product, it is helping to maintain the print sustainable.

Thinking about the journalism side, I really like the possibilities to tell stories on Instagram with photo, videos or audio slides. The hashtags are really useful to track content of your interest and the platform is targeted towards people who consume news via mobile devices. Good tool to understand communities and put them together around same interests.