Some observations from Apple’s Instagram debut this month

Apple's Instagram

Apple’s Instagram account is here and it indicates a number of things. Take a look and share your opinions with us

Apple finally gave in to the temptation of the masses, and joined Instagram earlier this month, but there is something even more curiously clever about the move, and some inspiration has been drawn too.

It is a no expense brochure that shows off Apple’s undoubted picture quality that taps into their user base’s eagerness to be featured on Apple’s Instagram account! Believe me, there are over a million posts on Instagram under the #ShotOniPhone hashtag.

Apple's Instagram

First off, why did apple choose to join Instagram? Is it because they finally realized that social media engagement sustains a brand better than prestige? Or is it because their competition have begun to eat into their user base?

So, why did Apple choose to arrive onto Instagram of all places? Apple already maintains Twitter and Facebook accounts yet are seldom active, and here we have 19 posts within the span of 10 days.

We shall answer the three major questions that arise out of Apple’s Instagram debut.

1. Why did Apple finally choose to join Instagram?

2. What are they doing with their Instagram account?

3. Is the #ShotOniPhone campaign an inspiration drawn from the popular #ShotOnOnePlus hashtag?

Let us begin,

Why has Apple finally decided to join Instagram?

It is obvious that Apple felt social media activity was secondary since their proucts practically sell themselves, and require no aggressive digital promotion or effort to maintain brand recall. Apple phones have never been technology, they have been a lifestyle, a matter of prestige, and an extension of the cool lives led by their owners.

Curtis Silver from Forbes has an interesting picture in mind about iPhone users, “To me, Apple has always been a lifestyle brand which happens to make tech, for that lifestyle. The lifestyle being closer to luxury and beaches with clear water and shirtless people who play volleyball with gold watches on.”

So why did a company like Apple feel the need to join Instagram this late in the game? Do they have something new up their sleeve, or have realized that social media is something they can no longer sideline?

Many feel that the answer is not the former, but the latter. Apple has not been the Apple of Steve Jobs’ era. It has felt vulnerable as a brand, and no longer shakes the earth when a new iPhone is unveiled.

Curtis Silver echoes the same thought and feels Apple joining Instagram is nothing but a distraction, “While we haven’t felt a strong feeling of innovation since Steve Jobs was at the helm, Apple is making moves to distract us from the fact that the iPhone 8 may be delayed. The latest distraction? Joining up with the self-obsessed Instagram culture.”

Sure, it has a consumer base as loyal as one can wish for, and their sales may not indicate a decline either, but Apple recently had to relinquish their numero uno position as the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer to bittler rivals, Samsung.

Source

Although it’s Apple’s rivals that have now risen to the challenge and gained prominence, forcing them to act. No matter what, the iPhone, and Apple itself, do retain their novelty and prestige, and the company is banking on it.

What is Apple doing with their Instagram account?

Apple’s Instagram account has vastly different pictures with no connected theme except one. All the pictures have been #ShotOniPhone, and that is the sole distinguishing factor that Apple wishes to leverage.

Apple Instagram

By opening up their Instagram account towards User Generated Content, the company has tapped into Instagram users’ desire to be featured on Apple’s prestigious Instagram account. Understandable, and clever too.

“And while for some aspiring influencers this may be the biggest game-changer since drone selfies, for the rest of us it presents an uncomfortable truth: Apple is begging us to help make it cool again,” writes Jack Morse from Mashable.

Although not completely stripped of their iconic status, reinforced by the mind numbing parroting of their users, “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone!”, Apple has lost some of their reputation of being an innovator.

At 623k followers on Instagram, one can say Apple is still one of the most relevant and sought after brands, although their own approach towards portraying themselves has changed. From innovators, Apple is stepping towards being manufacturers of a style statement.

They are working towards building a community of iPhone users on Instagram, and although not every picture under the hashtag may not get featured, but that is never going to stop them from using it.

Is the #ShotOniPhone campaign an inspiration drawn from the popular #ShotOnOnePlus hashtag?

Not really.

Apple's Instagram

Apple has always held immense pride about what the iPhone can do with its camera, and have never shied away from highlighting its superior abilities, and their #ShotOniPhone campaign has not been ‘inspired’ by OnePlus.

It could be said that Apple may have seen the benefits of maintaining a digital library of #ShotOniPhone pictures, something that OnePlus continues to do on their website, whereas Apple earlier focused on billboards.

All in all, things do not appear to be sunshine and rainbows for Apple as it may appear to be. They will have to work harder to gain back the market share that they have lost to Samsung, and leverage social media to be the talk of the town.

What are your thoughts about Apple’s Instagram debut? Let us know at [email protected]


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