As of September 2014, 73% of U.S. Internet users had a social media profile. Facebook is still the leading social media site with 71% of U.S. Internet users. Instagram which is owned by Facebook has 26% of active Internet users. Why should we care about Instagram?
Facebook connects and engages people using status updates that may or may not contain links, photos or videos. Facebook is accessed on computers and multiple mobile devices.
Instagram is a mobile device app that connects people through shared images, photos or videos.
Instagram is about being unique and creative—taking and sharing photos or videos that tell the story or make the point without long explanations. The images are the conversation starters. The hashtags ( such as #love, #friendship, #beauty, #rain, #church for example) are very important on Instagram. Use as many as you like. People can find your photo using these hashtags.
Why should we in ministry care about Instagram? It’s the demographics.
Teens are still on Facebook, but many of those who have smart phones or tablets are also on Instagram as shown in this graph from Pew.
While some senior citizens are on Instagram, Facebook is still their primary social media site.
I do have an Instagram account (srsusan), but I have not used it very much. One “church” person that I follow on Instagram is James Martin, SJ, from America Magazine (jamesmartinsj). Father Martin has 5,111 Instagram followers and 237,677 Likes on his Facebook page. He often shares his Instagram photos on his Facebook page which is very easy to do. The disparity in the numbers for Facebook Likes and Instagram followers is pretty typical in church related accounts.
I am reading about Instagram now and thinking about how I can use it for ministry. If any of you are using Instagram for ministry, please share your experience with us.
Here is a video that walks you through the Instagram app for those of you who have a smartphone or tablet and may be interested in learning more about how the app works.