Lately I have been pretty interested in the many different ways that Edmontonians are using Instagram. Of course we use it to document the beautiful, the shocking, the curious, and yes the mundane, throughout our city. But does it have uses beyond that? Are the local media using it for news?
Instagram itself seems keen on becoming a platform for news organizations, especially with video. Some organizations are indeed using it that way, such as the BBC which launched Instafax, a short-form video news service. It’s an obvious platform for photojournalists, and many use it as part of their storytelling (here’s a good list).
Here’s a snapshot of local media organizations on Instagram (as of June 9, 2014):
|102.3 NOW! Radio||3,613||604|
|Hot 107 Edmonton||1,438||187|
|91.7 The BOUNCE||1,178||53|
|92.5 Fresh FM||628||97|
|CISN Country 103.9||234||3|
Have I missed one? Let me know!
For the purposes of this post, I chose to focus on organization accounts. There are some prominent individuals with Instagram accounts of course, like Lochlin Cross from 100.3 The Bear, Global Edmonton’s Carole Anne Devaney, or Ryan Jespersen of BT Edmonton fame. Perhaps some organizations not listed above are represented by their employees.
So, what do local media organizations use Instagram for? The Journal seems to be posting photos captured for stories, such as the Pride Parade on the weekend or the return of the Oil Kings a couple weeks ago. 102.3 NOW! seems to be using Instagram the way it uses other social media networks – for audience engagement. They post funny or interesting photos and actively invite user feedback. Global Edmonton seems to be using Instagram for a mix of purposes, including behind the scenes, News Hour promotion, and event coverage.
Up next for Instagram? Ads. They’ve been experimenting with ads in the United States for a while now, and now ads are coming to Canada too.