Instagram has been around for fewer than ten years. During that time, it has become one of the world’s most popular social media services. Have you ever stopped to ask the question, why? The truth is probably a combination of reasons.
Why Is Instagram Popular?
Asking why anything is popular is a much deeper question than it first appears. Why is anything popular? How would you define popularity? Much of the answers to these questions will be subjective at best. However, the data does indicate a few trends that give clarity to the situation.
Although the social media service is fewer than ten years old, it is one of the oldest still in service. The first companies to operate in new industries traditionally get an advantage. They can develop the user base first. Thus, they become widespread before competitors can copy them.
Early Worms Do Have an Advantage:
It seems that the old saying is more true than we like to admit. Today some competitors have begun to gain ground. However, Instagram still holds a dominating share of the industry.
Humans and Our Fascination with Visual Images
Another key aspect of Instagram’s success is its focus on images. Image sharing is very addictive for humans. Our strongest sense is our eyes. Technically, smell forms memories more powerfully. However, most humans would choose to be deaf rather than blind.
Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in your brain. It plays a major role in cognition. You may recognize the word. If you do, it is probably because of its association with addiction pathologies. Dopamine is not a bad thing. It’s the way that your brain can tell you that what you are doing is rewarding. Unfortunately, modern social media hijacks these signals. Images are very stimulating for humans. Thus, you release excessive amounts of dopamine when you view them.
Finally, most major social media platforms use artificial intelligence. When the companies first launched their services, these technologies were in their infancy. Today, the story is much different. Have you heard of targeted advertising? If so, you are familiar with some of these technologies’ effects.
The Rise of Targeted Advertising:
Targeted advertising uses your behavior on social media to show you specific ads. You are more likely to be influenced by this type of advertising.
The Social Aspect
It is impossible to neglect the value that socialization has had on platform success. Everyone wants to make friends. Today, many of our lives leave us without enough time to spend with other people. Social media allows us to circumvent some of these obstacles. We can connect with the people who matter the most to us. Instagram is a powerful tool in that way.
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