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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is Instagram the New Facebook?

In researching for my book, Social Media & Local Governments: Navigating the New Public Square, I was struck by the sheer number of social media sites.  Just a decade ago, we were talking about Myspace and Friendster, with Facebook just entering the horizon.  Now, we have dozens upon dozens of different social networking options, with a new site seemingly popping up every day.  As I watched the move The Social Network again this weekend, I wondered how Facebook went from being the social media platform for the "cool kids" (teens and college students) to what it has become today, with the parents and even grandparents of these kids setting up Facebook profiles, and becoming active users of the site.
 Now, I don't have anything against grandparents jumping on the social media bandwagon, but I am guessing that the younger demographic might.  And I wonder if that's the reason why Instagram has gained so much popularity with that younger demographic, particularly tweens and teens.  Instagram's growth and success is staggering - over 100 million users in a little over 2 years (It took Facebook over 3 years to reach those numbers).   Instagram claims that 45 million photos are uploaded by users to its site each day, with 8,500 likes and 1,000 comments per second.  That's a lot of activity.  If you have tween/teen aged kids or know some, you know they are choosing Instagramming over Facebooking. 
Which makes me wonder what the next hot "thing" in social media will be.  Maybe I should ask a 10 year old. 

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