Social networks are places that often change. Take Instagram for example. Up until the launch of Stories, it’s been your life’s highlight reel. Now Instagram is a place to share real and raw moments.
I used to post an edited photo to Instagram at least one time a day. Today, I share to Stories ninety percent of the time and skip the permanent grid altogether. I enjoy using Instagram more than Snapchat not only because of the built-in audience but because you can upload prerecorded content taken that day.
“Instagram seems to be on the path to becoming a different kind of place — a network where you can experience the most intimate and endearing moments of your friends’ and acquaintances’ lives in an environment blessedly free of the news.” – Farhad Manjoo
Still, the best thing about Instagram may be the fact that it has become a place to get away from the inundation of election news. News about Trump and Hillary are noticeably absent on the ephemeral sharing networks. Meanwhile, on Facebook and Twitter, the news is inescapable. Manjoo explains the benefits of Instagram/Snapchat escapism in the New York Times:
“There’s a constant reality show on your phone, but an honest one, starring your friends. And Mr. Trump is nowhere to be found.”
Of course, Facebook wasn’t always this way. It used to be the safe place to reveal your more personal side before everybody in the world got on it. Like Snapchat and Instagram Stories today, Facebook was a place for the occasional drunk photo while posting something egregious on Twitter (i.e., Anthony Weiner) begged for trouble.
Instagram and Snapchat will not be the same place they are today, however. Like the over-filtered photos of the past, people will get used seeing the real world too often and take their true selves and their FOMO to new platforms elsewhere.
As platforms mature, so too does their community’s behavior. No news is good news.