“There is so much freedom – there are no boundaries”

At the single touch of a button, we have the ability to contribute and interact with the public world. Today, as users of social media, we are not just consumers, absorbing the continual transmission of information. We have become producers of media content, contributing to the discourse that’s dispersed into the public sphere by a number of user-generated media platforms. Instagram is just one social media site that has helped initiate the transition from monologic to dialogic media. This shift towards dialogic media has ultimately helped facilitate conversations, rather than just producing the production of information (Moore, 2014).

The success of instagram comes down to its ability to encourage user participation through ‘posting’, ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ on photos. With this growth in user-generated platforms, there has been an overall increase in consumption, with Instagram just recently hitting 200 million users. Nowadays users can quite simply upload a photo instantaneously, without having to go through any sort of regulations or censoring, which has in turn led to the decline in the process of gatekeeping.

Instagram and other social media platforms have essentially served as a voice to the public, by helping promote citizen journalism. It has allowed users to become engaged in media saturation, using these platforms as outlets of self-expression. Besides the app being used for personal purposes, it also serves as a powerful marketing and advertising tool. The ability to take “pictures and short films that transmit rapidly” (Gordon, 2007) has undeniably heightened consumer access.

It is this ubiquitous connectivity from social media platforms that allows users to constantly stay in touch with the wider world. Media and technology is both a never-ending cycle of progression. Users will continue to use instagram and many other social media sites to contribute to the production and flow of content. It is new technologies like Instagram that are ultimately challenging the once conventional paradigms of information.

References:

Gordon, J, 2007, The Mobile phone and the Public Sphere, The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol 13, pp.307-319

Instagram, 2014, Press News, viewed 2April 2014, http://instagram.com/press/

Moore, C 2014, Tuesday BCM112 Week. 5 Lecture 5 “Audiences: Power, Access and Participation”, 1 April 2014.

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