As an Architect, I have always been an extremely visual person. Naturally, I have always thought in pictures, diagrams and shapes. I have also always been an avid reader, but if given the choice I’ll choose looking at pictures over reading words.
Instagram is for visual people
Whats that old saying? A Picture is worth 1,000 words. Since I have a lot to say, sometimes it can be more like 5,000 words. Instagram is a social media application that has truly captured this concept.
I have been using Instagram for a little over a year now and it is quickly become my favorite platform for connecting with the world via social media.
What is Instagram? How is it different then Facebook?
Instagram is an image sharing social networking smart phone application that allows users to upload, edit and share photos with followers or through hashtags. It’s all pictures with a little bit of text. Nothing else.
Facebook is an everything sharing website that allows users to share status updates, images, videos, links, and even play silly games.
Instagram is significantly more casual then Facebook. On Instagram, I follow a lot of people I’m not friends with because they post cool pictures. On Facebook I typically do not add people whom I do not know, due to the amount of personal content on my Facebook profile.
Instagram is primarily a smartphone app and not really web based. Facebook is both website and application based.
Instagram is only about sharing pictures and Facebook wants to be involved in every aspect of everyone’s social life.
Facebook actually owns Instagram.
Why Instagram is Awesome for Architects.
The more I use Instagram the more I am discovering that Architecture is one of the most popular topics on my Instagram feed. Everyone is posting pictures of buildings, places, or urban environments, even with my non-architecture friends. Literally. Everyday I get to see recent pictures of buildings, cities, projects, from all over the world.
Since Instagram is all visual (and I maybe have the shortest attention span in the world) it requires much less energy to go through my feed and I actually enjoy using it more then other social media.
I’m noticing a lot of other people are using Facebook less and Instagram more. One great thing about Instagram is it allows you the option to also post the pictures on Facebook and Twitter as well.
What’s the deal with Hashtags?
I never understood hashtags until I started using them. A hashtag looks like this #YoungArchitect They start with a # symbol, have no spaces or punctuation.
When you include a hashtag it files that image into a location with everyone else who has used that hashtag. After I started using hashtags all my Instagram pictures started getting a lot more likes. I also started getting a lot more followers.
I officially became hooked on Instagram when I started using the hashtag #portlandarchitecture, to post pictures of all my favorite buildings around town. Very quickly I was suddenly connected and friends with many local photographers, architects, designers, students and local people who were all posting to the same hashtag. I actually now know some of those people in real life whom I met from using the #portlandarchitecture hashtag.
Tips for using Instagram
- Don’t take pictures with the Instagram App, Its clunky. When taking pictures it is usually better to use your regular camera, then using the Instagram app to take the picture. I like to take multiple shots until I get the right one. Unfortunately the Instagram app will significantly slow this down. After you get the perfect shot, you can then upload it right into Instagram.
- Setup IFTTT to tweet your Instagram Pictures. If you try to push your Instagram pictures to Twitter from the Instagram app, your images will only be tweeted as a link. I figured out a work around using a website called IFTTT.com, to have the actual Instagram picture appear in the twitter feed and not a stupid text link. I used to despise Twitter, but once I started sharing my Instagram pictures on there its started getting alot more interesting.
- Get an image reformatting app. All Instagram images are a 1:1 square. In the real world, not all images are square. I use the app on my phone called Squaregram (on Android and Iphone) that adds a background and lets you scale and format your picture before you send it over the Instagram. Once I discovered this App it really solved the problem formatting everything to a 1:1 square.
- Use hashtags! Everyone should be using the #”YOURCITY”Architecture hashtag. Like I said earlier I very quickly made a lot of friends through the #PortlandArchitecture hashtag. Ive learned that #Architecture is used soo frequently that it very quickly gets buried and is almost not worth using. Some of my favorite hashtags are: #Architect #lifeofanarchitect #ArchitectureSchool #Architectexam #Arquitectura #WhatAnArchitectDoes
- Instagram is more casual. On Facebook if you start liking and commenting on everyones old photos photos its kinda creepy. On Instagram, not so much. I will frequently add other people I don’t know, like a bunch of their old photos, maybe leave comment and then follow them. If privacy is important to you, then you can lock your so no one can see unless you allow them to.
- Use peoples usernames to communicate with them. In Facebook when someone comments, it automatically notifies every who has previously commented that there is a new comment. Instagram doesn’t do this. You need to drop their user name if you want them to see your comment. Dropping a username looks like this “blah blah blah @their_user_name”
- Be generous with your likes. It feels good when everyone likes your photos. I give likes to about 75% of the images in my feed. Support the people you follow! Instagram makes it easy for you by letting you just double tap the image to give it a like.
- Post pictures of your projects – Old and new everyone loves looking at some good imagery. I usually email pictures to myself, save them in the phone and then process them through Squaregram and then Instagram.
Upload your posts in batches, schedule them out and forget about it.
The past few weeks I have been using a service called Schedulegram, which allows you to upload your instagram pictures through a website, polish them up just like the app and the schedule them out in batches.
I have been posting one image a day through Schedulegram and the rest of my instagram are done when im out and about. I go through phases when Im just too busy and Schedulegram has been great to keep my profile consistant. I also seem to write alot more because it entering all the data through a computer rather then a phone allows me to be a little bit more thoughtful.
Whos good to follow on Instagram?
I have spent a lot of time looking for good people to follow. I follow a lot of people from the Mayor of Portland, to the Sign Bandit and even the carpeting at PDX International Airport has an Instagram account.
Here is a list of some really awesome architecture people I really enjoy following on Instagram.
oscarniemeyerworks – Oscar Niemeyer Works, lots of great classic old photos
architectnyc – NYC Architect instagram feed. Lots of great construction shots.
archi7interior – Great architecture and interiors photos
osha_is_this_ok – Ridiculous image of construction worker being dumb.
appolonia3 – Lots of great pictures of Minneapolis architecture.
registeredarchitect – NYC Architect instagram feed. Tons of great NYC buildings.
loverofbuildings – Beautiful Architectural photography
iarchitectures – Student work from around the world.
s__i__m__e – Incredible images
archdaily – Arch Daily
archnm – Architecture student in Belfast
jacostarubio – Pictures of vintage furniture
ncarb – Our buddy NCARB
banksy – Banksy
youngarchitxpdx – Yours truly. My Young Architect Instagram
Who do you follow?
Who do you enjoy following on Instagram? I am always looking for new people. Take a minute and leave a comment with the names of a few of your favorite instagrammers.