I have an up and down experience in finding value in using social networks. Twitter is definitely not my goto place these days and App.net is now a distant memory due to it's lack of participation. It was these two networks that I always thought I would spend my time on when online. What has surprised me in the last year though is that I'm regularly turning to Instagram as my preferred social network.
I always thought of Instagram as just a photo sharing app. I can already share photos on Twitter so why would I bother doing the same thing on Instagram?
Here’s the thing though. Instagram is just a photo sharing app. It allows you to share photos simply and easily. The biggest change I’ve seen in the time I’ve used Instagram is probably it’s user-interface overhaul a couple of weeks ago and yes I do love their new icon. Since joining I’ve yet to see any major change in the way Instagram works as an app. And that’s because it doesn’t need to. It works well without needing to continually change.
Since coming back to Twitter, it hasn't been everything I thought it would be. I have a public account there and I like sharing photos there but I don’t like to share everything. I'm also on Path but that's a private app and is mainly for keeping in touch with the family. Instagram fits the gap in-between the two. My account is private and I keep followers down to a minimum.
In this case Instagram is well worth investing some time in because it doesn’t demand too much of my time. I can drop in when I want to and because the timeline is visual, it’s easier to scroll through without getting sidetracked. It has value for me because I can easily keep up with friends and family across the world and it offers a simple way to share online.
Being a valuable social network isn't always about having the most features. It can be about having a minimum list of features, but making the most of these features and Instagram certainly ticks that box.