Do MySpace and Friendster sound familiar? Social media platforms are born and die faster than Kendall Jenner amasses likes on her Instagram photos.
Exaggerations aside, the world of mobile apps is savagely fast-paced. Public opinion shifts like the wind, and before you know it, up-and-coming apps are left in the dust. Even social media juggernauts like Twitter are lagging behind exciting start-ups, making one wonder: will current darling Instagram ever face this fate?
Instagram will die
1) Crowding Out
The avalanche of new apps means users face overwhelming choice. With success riding heavily on public opinion, less popular platforms are cast aside to die. Innovative new apps, like Snapchat, pose stiff competition for Instagram for the same pool of tech-savvy users. As time passes, it will be tough for Instagram to maintain its standing.
2) Evils of Instagram
Envy. Narcissism. Zi lian*. Rather than honest-to-goodness sharing, Instagram is becoming more about curating the life you want to present to the world. It’s no secret how Instagram encourages fabrication and pretentiousness. The superficial culture it breeds causes disillusioned users tired of such picture-perfection to shut off.
*Chinese for self-obsession
3) The Great Disconnect
The big word nowadays is ‘detox’; body detox, mind detox, and now social media detox. Disconnecting has never felt so apt in this age where fantasising relationships with others’ children and the bikini bridge are actually fads. Such disturbing behaviour is enough reason to deactivate Instagram and cleanse your soul. Furthermore, going on a technology fast when everyone is plunging in, could just be the next big thing.
4) Change – not always for the better
Hola, rainbow logo. Oh hey, non-chronological feed! Instagram’s recent makeover has left many feeling sour – top of the hate list being the reviled logo change from the fan-favourite retro design, to that rainbow blob. The Internet went crazy, and users were up-in-arms, leaving Instagram in ominous uncertainty.
…Or maybe not?
1) The young are the future
Increasingly, more youth grow up on technology. Millennials are avid fans of social media platforms, and not having an account is regarded as an anomaly today. With 300 million daily active users, Instagram’s audience encompasses everything. Step photos, check. Travel snaps, check. Stalking celebrities, check. With a simple modus operandi, accessing Instagram allows the youth to keep updated with trends, making it unlikely to lose popularity.
2) Embrace the change
The multi-coloured disaster (aka Instagram logo) might have been a strategic mistake, but some changes do vastly improve user experience and functionality. From extended video lengths and notification tabs on the Instagram website, to features facilitating stalking your crush, such updates made Instagram much easier to use, hooking users in for more.
3) The potential money brings
When Instagram allowed Sponsored Posts (aka advertisements from businesses), it struck gold. Revenue has skyrocketed to $3 billion from nil in early 2015. With more cash, resources are freed up for upgrades to be made. While money might not buy the memories Instagram has made a business of promoting, funds would allow the company to invest in creating a more addictive user experience.
In all, the Internet is a finicky business. Recall when Yahoo was a phenomenon worth a whopping $125 billion? Its buyout recently at a mere fraction of its original value is a cautionary tale that no technology business is invincible. Instagram had better keep on its toes.
By Delia Chew