#InstagramPopularity #NoFilter

Photo-sharing got revolutionized with the launch of Instagram in October 2010, the fun and quirky app with diverse filters and image settings to suit your liking. This photo sharing app was first launched for Apple store, and still holds the record of getting the quickest million downloads in December 2011 since its launch (Lux, 2011).

Instagram through the analytic lens of Baines (Baines & Fill, 2014)

Your experience with an application depends on lots of factors. Most millennials are driven by aesthetic properties of an app or a website. Many subscribers also feel driven by the ease of usage of the UI (user interface).

However, Baines’ Structural Properties of Digital Resources theory helps us analyse a digital platform in a more profound way. The blogger has taken aid from this theory and applied it to understand the popularity of Instagram mobile app.

1) Vividness: You develop a liking towards an app, based on your experience with it as a user. Vividness judges the richness of this experience, using the sensory spectrum, i.e. how many senses are engaged or provoked using Instagram.

Instagram provides a sensually rich experience to users, thanks to the vivid images on your feed, which optically stimulate you. You can also share videos on Instagram, which pleasure your auditory sense. Not to mention the navigation on smart-touch phones, which make you control the app using your haptic sense.

PIC: Images, filters and Popular images in your network.

2) Synchronicity: Synchronicity is synonymous with ‘turn-around time’ a popular phrase used incorporate world. In lay man terms, this phrase implies the time taken to respond to a request. Instagram relies on FAQ’s and a self-driven help path. You must know the issue and accordingly choose from the already laid options to solve a problem with the app. There are no real-time chatting forums to assist you. However, the comprehensive list of FAQs with dozens of helpful links, makes up for the lack of a real time communication feature.

PIC: FAQ section on the Instagram website

3) Pacing: Pacing implies the control one has over a digital platform. Instagram is a social media application, which lets you upload images, as and when you prefer to. This provides you with the ultimate control over the app, which makes it internally paced. You can use filters and edit the image without being a master of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. You can also tweak the image angle, contrast, brightness and sharpness of the image whilst playing around with the app. Control over image sharing and image editing renders a user satisfied and accomplishes, ensuring that he or she returns to the app shortly with the next exciting image.

PIC: Filters offered to suit your preference, to optimize control

4) Interactivity: For you to like an app, it is imperative that there is some level of interaction between you and the app’s offerings. According to Baines, a digital platform can either provide machine interactivity or personal interactivity. Instagram primarily lets you interact with itself, whereby you can upload images to its database, rendering an interaction with the machine to you. However, Instagram Direct, a subsidiary feature of the app, lets you share images with a few select friends only. Instagram Direct is especially useful for people who have one too many followers and wish to keep some pictures private (Moreau, 2015).

PIC: Instagram lets you send images directly to selected recipients only

5) Mode of Transfer: The process by which information is shared amongst users. Instagram is a social network which makes people interact on a many-to-many level. This implies that lots of users are communicating with many others on a common platform. This makes the users feel actively involved in the image sharing process.

Instagram app owes its popularity to a number of factors, which find its roots in academic theory. Its excellent value proposition and attention to the needs of share-savvy millennials has helped it. To come up with a successful digital platform like Instagram, as a budding software developer, you could refer to academic theories, so as to get a push in the right direction.


Baines, P. & Fill, C., 2014. Digital Marketing. In: Markerting. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 625–661.

Lux, K., 2011. Information. [Online] 
 Available at: http://infospace.ischool.syr.edu/2011/12/15/what-is-instagram-and-why-is-it-so-popular/
 [Accessed 10 June 2015].

Moreau, E., 2015. What is Instagram Direct?. [Online] 
 Available at: http://webtrends.about.com/od/Instagram/fl/What-is-Instagram-Direct.htm
 [Accessed 10 June 2015].

Originally published at sharvaanis.tumblr.com.