As Instagram turns 10, we curate a list of 10 books you should read to get a flavour of how the platform has evolved in the last decade.
From a picture sharing platform to becoming a hub of e-commerce, Instagram has been through a long journey in the last ten years. Beside the commercial aspects, the platform has altered the social fabric of communities in quite a significant way. Aspirations have developed, relationships with self have evolved and the needs of an average person have grown multi-fold. A lot of it can be attributed to this mobile-first visual platform. Here’s a curated list of ten books that will help you understand the worlds of Instagram.
Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker
Dwelling on aspects of storytelling, crafting pictures, archiving life and sharing a slice of personal worlds, Hashtag Authentic is a guide on how to use the platform efficiently. It aims to help readers find their voice and garner influence on Instagram.
No Filter by Sarah Frier
With accounts from Instagram creators and company insiders, No Filter takes a look at how the platform has transformed businesses, celebrity lives, culture and the way people communicate online, especially with visuals and aesthetics. It dwells on the commodification of users’ attention.
Styling for Instagram by Leela Syd
Styling for Instagram is a guide to help creators stand out amidst the clutter of pictures on the platform. It contains tips and advice on how to make the most of Instagram and its visual storytelling capabilities. Key topics discussed in the book include composition, styling and use of natural light.
Influencer by Brittany Hennessy
Listing core influencer marketing principles, Influencer takes a look at the ways one can evaluate their profile, embrace their edge and make money doing what they love. It includes tips on packaging, branding, pitching and monetising content. Focus is also put on how to get on the radar of their favourite sites and praising a brand without alienating its competitors.
InstaStyle by Tessa Barton
InstaStyle is an easy guide for aspiring influencers to understand how to create a brand, connect with others and share their perspectives. The book focusses on the importance of aesthetic grids, personal brand, compelling visual stories and engagement strategies. It also includes inspiration and guidance from successful influencers.
Hungry by Eve Turow-Paul
Hungry takes a look at how the innovations and pressures of the 21st century are redefining the needs and desires of people. The book touches upon psychological factors such as stress and anxiety. With Hungry, Eve aims to deepen people’s understanding of why they do what they do and how it’s linked to their Instagram usage and consumption.
Instagram Power by Jason Miles
In the second edition of Instagram Power, Jason Miles explains how the platform can be leveraged to build and strengthen a business or personal brand. Miles also talks about the importance of designing an effective marketing plan, use of shop-able posts and how to avoid common mistakes.
What I Didn’t Post on Instagram by Chrissy Stockton
A collection of essays, What I Didn’t Post on Instagram explores the way women use social media. Despite knowing things aren’t the way they look online, aspirations, as well as jealousy, tend to make their presence felt. The book aims to depict how behind the filters, people are all the same, how everyone is just trying to figure life and discover happiness in varied forms.
Instagram by Tama Leaver, Tim Highfield and Crystal Abidin
Meant to be read by students and scholars of media and communication, the book examines how Instagram has developed as a platform and a culture. It focusses on new visual social media aesthetics, the rise of influencers, visual economies and the complex politics of the platform.
Pics or It Didn’t Happen by Arvida Bystrom, Molly Soda and Chris Kraus
Pics or It Didn’t Happen features pictures that have been banned from Instagram. While guidelines arguably exist for the good of all, some of their policies have been criticised when pitted against self-expression, like ones around sexual relationships and menstruation. Full of illustrations, the book explores the nuances of modern censorship.
Have you read any of the above books about Instagram or plan to? Do let us know!