|Barack Obama’s most recent Instagram photo|
Within the last year, several politicians and political candidates used Instagram as a part of their social media strategy. With more than 100 million users and counting, Instagram has been an outstanding outlet for politicians to brand themselves and connect with their constituents.
Many Instagram users panicked at the thought of their photos being used without their permission. Thousands of users announced that they were removing their photos and leaving Instagram prior to the effective date of the new terms.
This note — from Jonathan Henderson, @JonHeno — sums up much of the sentiment seen on other social networks today.
|A letter to Instagram from social media user Jonathan Henderson|
While the word “Instagram” was trending nationally on Twitter today for several hours, a less popular photo sharing site’s name also showed up in the top-ten feed of nationally trending topics — Flickr.
|Flickr’s iOS interface|
What will the ultimate impact of this series of events be on Instagram? My guess is that Instagram will continue to go forward and grow its users. With that said, Flickr seems to have been the big winner of this and will certainly acquire new users, many of whom are vocal opinion leaders in the coming days and weeks.
So, what does all this this mean to a politician? First, there are many benefits a politician has of using and developing a strong social presence on a photo sharing site given the large number of individuals who use them. Second, Instagram is not that only site a politician should consider having a presence on. For those considering exploring a location to share photos, Flickr should be considered. Finally, photo sharing sites are showing a bit of uncertainty. It will be important for a savvy social media manager/politician to watch trends and adapt with change.