Can Instagram Be Considered…a BLOG?!

Instagram only?

Last week, I struck up a conversation with a stylish young woman, and when the conversation turned to blogging, she said that she had one as well. “Oh cool!” I exclaimed, and asked, “what's the website?”  “No website address,” she replied, “it's on Instagram.” Huh?

Don't get me wrong; I love Instagram as much as everyone else, and it's definitely my #1 social media obsession, but I never considered that it could be on the same playing field as a blog. A complimentary vehicle, yes, but when I consider all of the time and energy invested into my blog, from the design aspects and branding to writing, visuals, advertising, and more, I don't see how it could be even remotely considered the same.

What is most striking, however, is thinking about the elements of Instagram, and how it can influence, and perhaps even lead to an evolution of traditional blogging. Here's three points to consider that Instagram does well, and can be conducive to a better blogging experience:

The Emphasis on the Visual

We are such a visual culture, that part of the success of Instagram is playing right into that, satiating our needs and desires while giving us an endless amount of visual satisfaction to scroll through, search, and find. It reinforces storytelling through images (and sometimes videos), and can directly show you, via likes and comments, how successful that point of view (or choice of filter) that you have taken may be with your audience. It pushes us to take a longer pause when thinking about images, and positions us to challenge ourselves to constantly improve in taking (and editing) them.

Timeliness of posting is important,  as well as honing in our captioning skills to be witty, searchable, and succinct.

Brevity

Elaborating on the last point, attention spans, especially in the online realm for reading, is surprisingly short. Unlike Twitter, Instagram doesn't keep you to a word count in order to post, however being brief is lauded, while being lengthy may result in the post being skipped over. The norm of text simplification in Instagram can be a bummer for those of us whose strength is writing, but on the other hand, it can pose a challenge to hone in our copy writing skills and get to the point faster than ever.

Since direct linking out is not (yet) part of the platform, which can be an annoyance for some, but think of it this way: it's one less thing to worry about! Now you can focus on TWO things: images, and writing. There's something kinda freeing in that, isn't there?

Freedom from Web Hosting & Domains

Speaking of, if you've ever had your blog develop a glitch, spam issues, a crashed server, broken code, etc, it may come as relief to contemplate a life without worrying about, or dealing with those things. Hosting, domains, email addresses — not necessary in the world of Instagram! It holds all of your content, which means you can save that hosting money for a rainy day, and ultimately lower the costs that you've sunk into your blog.

On the contrary, of course, that means that whoever is hosting ultimately has control and owns the content, so you can only do so much in having precedence over it and monetizing it, just as if you use Blogger or WordPress' free hosting options.  It would be nice if there was a simpler way to deal with and solve this issues for a traditional blog, and perhaps it will lead to the predominant platforms in offering competitive and more secure,  free, and flexible options when it comes to hosting.

What do you think; do you consider Instagram to be a blog?

[Photo via Kristina Bazan]

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23 Responses

  1. Jess Zimlich

    I think Instagram is a form of microblogging. And there are certainly people who use the platform that can be considered influencers, yet they don’t have a physical web domain.

    Reply
    • Anastasia Nicole

      I think Instagram is a form of mircoblogging as well. I follow a lot of girls who spend as much time taking, selecting and editing their photos and then writing the accompanying captions as I do working on blog posts. Most of them have actual online homes that they supplement their work on IG with but increasingly they are skipping the costs of hosting. Personally, my Instagram account gets more action than my blog does, which is more of a reflection on our ever shortening attention span than anything else.

      Reply
  2. TlvBirdie

    My Instagram is a blog of it’s own. It has a different audience from my website blog, but it’s still in the same line, aesthetics and concept as my blog. Also, there’s more personal existence in my Instagram. And diversity maybe too.

    Anyway, these are not the same in terms of SEO, searches, ranking etc. In my opinion, Instagram BLOG can’t live long by itself, Instagram PROJECT can. I think we all understand the difference.

    Oly
    tlvbirdie.com
    https://instagram.com/tlvbirdie/

    Reply
  3. Katie Cadamatre

    A users’ Instagram feed is a weblog of sorts if you consider they’re logging their experiences and sharing their point of view. I agree, the amount of time and effort you put into Instagram most likely doesn’t match what someone puts into hosting a website. But, consider a bicycle designer versus a car designer – the end product and development methods are different, but I don’t think that means one is better than the other – and both can be extremely talented and offer inspiration and insight.

    Reply
  4. Dilek

    I agree with another comment here that compares Instagram to microblogging. Instagram users have long moved on from posting photos taken just with their phone. Successful bloggers (and Instagrammers, I guess) upload quality photos to their Instagram (as in taken with a dSLR) which you would usually see on their blogs. In that sense, I guess you could use your Instagram account as a blog because it has a life of its own, but ultimately, I am not thrilled at the idea of losing all the perks a real blog gives me. I love writing and I love putting together a post – that is a thrill for me.

    Reply
  5. Accidental Icon

    I would agree that instagram is a kind of microblogging except you are telling your story visually. I think it can be a blog if it tells the story of your brand or persona in a way that is consistent but perhaps different than you blog. For me I have way more traffic and followers on instagram than on my other platforms. It is a means to an end because people have met and reached out to me first on instagram but then that relationship has evolved into a blog post or another kind of opportunity.

    Accidental Icon
    http://www.accidentalicon.com

    Reply
  6. Melody Sours

    I like to think that Instagram compliments my blog but can never replace it. My IG photos are a little more relaxed and brings readers further into my life. I would never be able to do an extensive outfit post with honest reviews on Instagram. Also, I’d probably never post pictures of my husband and I at a birthday dinner on the blog.

    When I follow a blogger, I always look to follow their Instagram pages as well. It’s usually a good daily way to keep up with them.

    Melody
    http://blingaholic88.com

    Reply
  7. Mallory Brown

    Instagrammers can be fashion influencers, sure, but bloggers? There’s something to be said for the amount of time a blogger spends on his or her site, and I don’t feel like Instagramming can capture that the way a site can.

    Reply
  8. Mariya Jaiss

    Pretty good post. I will add bookmark on your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

    Reply
  9. Nuclear Glitter

    Instagrammers are instafashionistas. For sure, I do follow stylish girls on Instagram and enjoy to see their photos … however, I never considered it as ‘fashion blog’ or like something that can overtake the blogs. Bloggers put much more effort in their work and provide quality content, spend their money on design, domains … Same as social media (FB for example) couldn’t overtake the blogs, neither Instagram will. Blogs are evergreen and Instagram is just part of this project, not whole thing – just like Facebook, Lookbook, Twitter …

    http://nuclear-glitter.com/

    Reply
  10. Alice

    I think it’s an awesome blog-like platform that can absolve people from technology woes of traditional desktop blogging. On Instagram everybody’s “page” looks the same, so users can just focus on having good content. Versus a traditional desktop blog, where there are a lot more distractions and the worry of responsiveness on a mobile platform.

    Best of both worlds: use IG to supplement your desktop blog!

    Reply
  11. Sheela Goh

    To blog is to write and discuss. From that perspective, Instagram simply isn’t a blog. It is, however, a rudimentary component of my overall brand, and does a lot towards driving downstream traffic to the blog. I see it as my life and style lookbook. I share snippets of my day-to-day endeavours, offer teasers into what’s happening next, all of which help maintain interest in my blog on a whole. Instagram also allows me to showcase my personality in a far more fun, intimate and approachable fashion, something which my blog cannot proffer. To this end, the very fact that it’s so visual and succinct is perfect. It’s the perfect soulmate for my blog, to have one without the other would make absolutely no sense.

    Reply
  12. Dinell W

    I can see Instagram being used as a “blog”, and I use that term loosely. It is very visual driven, but I sometimes find myself reading people’s paragraph long descriptions.

    http://dxlynn.wordpress.com

    Reply
  13. Kim Thomas

    I think that IG can be seen as a form of blogging but I would never replace a blog with a SM account. I tell everyone, if someone hacks into or flags your account and it gets deleted, then what? All of your hard work and influence is gone. It’s a powerful tool (and I prefer it to twitter + facebook) but I don’t think it will ever replace blogging.

    Reply
  14. chantelle pidgley

    I don’t feel IG could be considered a blog you have no real control over it and like many have said on here it could be taken down for no reason its better to be in control of all your hard work …xC

    Reply
  15. Maliha Mohiuddin

    I actually started my journey into blogging via my instagram, msmaliha. I follow over 4,000 people, mostly fashion editors and other bloggers and so my feed was constantly pushing striking images my way. It motivated me to step up my game, and over time I developed an eye for my photos and presenting my latest products in the best light. I still use my account as well as my company IG, TheHareAndStyle to promote my latest posts and I always try to use one of my favorite photos from our photoshoots for my promos. In a way, IG was my first blog because those first images that I started to produce led to my first follows from fashion editors and fashion photographers.

    Reply
  16. Anastasia

    Instagram can be tricky with those who has a real web blog, as at times Instagram can become more popular than the blog itself! Why visit the website if I see more outfits on your Instagram account and inspo pics on a daily basis, right? But I don’t consider Instagram as a blog, though the funny thing is that Instagram keep the original idea of a personal blog, back to the times before editorial-like production and model-looking faces changes the game!

    http://fashionpeekaboo.com

    Reply
  17. Kate Teen4sale

    We definitely live in a visual culture. I started blogging in 2005 and had over 2 million viewers till 2011. When I stopped. Diving back in now; I notice how to whole digital scape has changed. Instagram is so much easier to view and use.

    Reply