Integrating Instagram

Instagram has steadily become one of the public’s favorite ways of sharing images of daily life online. Back in February 2011, the folks over at Instagram released the real-time API for developers. Since it’s release 6 months ago, I started digging around online to find creative ways in which people might be using the photo streams in their work. There are already a huge number of tools that can help you sort, manage, browse and print photos.

However, I’m really interested in how designers and developers might integrate the feed into personal sites, agency sites, client work, marketing campaigns and side projects. The stream of vintage imagery adds a personal warmth and humanity that could be repurposed beautifully for promotional efforts. With some planning, Instagram feeds could be used to promote a product, service, cause, or lifestyle through a curated corporate photo stream, or serve as the framework for a community contest. And, at the very least, individuals can pull in their shots with a handy WordPress plugin on their site or blog if it supports their site’s purpose.

Here are few examples of the Instagram invasion. The keyword here is “few.” Integrating you or your company’s stream to support your site has not widely been explored yet.

OMFG CO : A portland-based agency that uses the three founder’s Instagram feeds right on the home page. Clickable pagination included.

Kanon Vodka Cocktail Page: a photo page that sprinkles Instagram photos with professional images to promote mixing cocktails with their product.

Instawar: Make an interesting, funny pair of 2 Instagram photos, and upload it to the community blog to share. The idea of remixing multiple photos to change the meaning is compelling.

Yvan Rodic Instagram Page: the real-time Instagram feed of a Swiss photographer – a great secondary way to promote his passion through his everyday life experience.

Brands Using Instagram: Paul Ford lists out 10 brands that are using Instagram right now, which is pretty interesting. Celebrities have also been adopting the platform more as well.

Instagram just posted that 150,000,000 photos have been uploaded, so the platform is definitely worth doing something with. Here are a few ideas:

  • Design a tool that allows users to create visual stories using photo collections.
  • Create a scavenger hunt where users simulate location-specific photos to unlock more.
  • Allow users to stitch pieces of photos together in a community-based public art installation.
  • Encourage users to contribute specific photos for Kickstarter-based coffee table book.
  • Ask fans to select potential locations for upcoming movies yet to be in production.
  • Feature photos of words from different users for a message in a commercial.
  • Combine user photos of the same live events to create animated Instagram gifs.
  • Create a campaign where users take one photo a day of themselves for a year.
  • Weave together a photo weather radar for each state based on geo-located shots.

If you have any ideas to share or links of sites that are integrating instagram, please share them. Thanks for reading!

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