The big news in content curation this week came from Instagram, which announced enhancements to the app that will enable users to explore real-time imagery from the world’s current events.
Until now, the searchability piece was missing in the Instagram puzzle. With the new Search & Explore feature, users have an opportunity to seamlessly flip through trending events, places, and conversations here and around the globe.
Looking for real-time photos from the Women’s World Cup in Canada? Or images from the Paris Uber protests? Instagram’s got you covered.
But why is this so important to us? Why are we so excited about another opportunity to open our eyes to other worldly news? And what does this say about our society’s unwavering desire to SEE events unfold versus READ about them?
- We’re the ambulance chasers. Admit it. You’ve sat at a red light deciding whether or not to follow that ambulance or police car. Gossip, thrill and things in disarray drive us. They excite us. If we can’t be on the scene, we need to know what’s happening there. And what better way to live it than vicariously through those who are there?
- We’re an event-driven culture. For the most part, we are driven to organize happenings into “events.” If it’s not part of a broader trend, it’s an anomaly. We don’t plan client events because they’d be cool. There’s something behind them that says… this is on trend. This is what consumers and trade will respond well to. That doesn’t change when you think about it from a news reporting perspective, and the new feature fits that mold perfectly.
- We are the news drivers. Why hasn’t TV slowed as rapidly as print? Because it’s visual. Because we need to see it to believe it. The same goes for digital and mobile. Periscope is a prime example of consumers becoming the anchors, journalists and reporters. The new Instagram represents a new form of citizen journalism; it reminds us that we, the viewers, have more power than ever to drive the news.
The New York Times’ take on the Instagram announcement suggests Twitter will remain the dominant player in reporting world events in real-time. However, with Instagram’s current user base on par with Twitter’s, and the public’s inherent need for photographic reporting, only time will tell whether visual platforms like this can unseat Twitter as primary social news engines.