For years I have had this debate with my fellow photographers about Instagram. In my opinion Instagram was never meant to be a platform for photography. It was not borne out of a love of photography like that of Flickr or other photography sharing sites. Those sites sought to engage the photographer and to build a community of photography. Photographers were encouraged to interact and share ideas on technique and equipment. It was a communal endeavor. Even now I still have connections with fellow photographers I met on those social platforms.
Instagram in my opinion has a more selfish goal. Quite plainly Its all about making money. Instagram was never interested in photography or the photographer, but because the platform shared images many were duped to believe that lie. Instagram was designed to be a distraction. Its like a quick shot of dopamine that keeps you wanting to come back for the next fix. Now all the “junkies” are trying to crack the algorithm in the hopes of getting more likes and more followers. Participants rarely discuss anything related photography. In fact the most followed “instagrammer” aren’t even photographers. So why were so many suddenly surprised when Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram stated that ,” we are no longer just a square photo sharing app”? Instagram was never about sharing photos. It was about tapping into that green-eyed part of the human psyche that said look at what I have, look at where I have been, look at where I have travelled, all under the guise of sharing photos.
Now there is new kid is on the block called Tik Tok which is threatening to challenge Instagram. So how does Instagram respond? They reaffirm the obvious fact. its not about the photography and it has never been about photography. Its about eyeballs on screens and they will do what ever it takes to achieve the goal.
Montez Kerr is a landscape and portrait photographer. His work can be viewed at: