#Foodporn, #nofilter or #travelgram: these terms have established themselves in the daily lives of a billion people over 10 years thanks to Instagram, the app that has revolutionized the way we eat, travel and even consume.
On October 6, 2010, Americans Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched a social network dedicated to sharing photos. The novelty ? The application designed for smartphones offers filters to boost brightness, contrasts, colors … the perfect photo, in Polaroid style, is just a click away. Success is instantaneous.
Two years later, the app which has also revolutionized photography by imposing its codes is bought by Facebook. In the meantime, it has become the platform where everyone takes the stage through “selfies”. Until creating online stars, the “Instagirls”, like Chiara Ferragni (21 million followers), who later became the Lancôme muse, and Kylie Jenner, of the Kardashian clan, followed by 196 million fans.
“We have entered the era of the ‘internet’ where you can only exist through what you post on social media. I selfie therefore I am, ”summarizes Michaël Stora, psychologist and president of the French Observatory of Digital Worlds.
This frantic quest for “likes” “locks teens into a false bubble of perfection” which sends them back the image that they are “not up to the task”, continues the researcher. Devastating effects often overlooked by aficionados.
Instagram’s success has not escaped brands. Thus, the selfie of the Oscars 2014, with Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt …, agglutinated, all smiles, was in fact taken by a Samsung smartphone, sponsor of the evening.
For both luxury and fast-fashion brands, Instagram turns millions of users into customers, thanks to a shopping feature that includes links that redirect the user to a merchant site.
Brands can now engage consumers wherever they are: on their phones, and above all, without an intermediary, their images displayed between two posts and in the same square format. A boon also for the luxury industry, which is taking the opportunity to offer itself a more democratic image. “By posting free content, they are open to everyone, defeating the image of snobbery that stuck to her skin,” said fashion historian Audrey Millet.
A true “cash machine” for companies, the application is also for thousands of influencers, often young, who live thanks to the photos published and are sponsored by brands.
“They send me the product and I take care of all the service around it: the shooting, the showcasing … Brands no longer need to use an advertising agency. We take care of everything, ”explains Pauline Privez, 36, fashion and beauty influencer since 2009 to 140,000 subscribers.
Take a photo of your avocado toast and publish it, immortalize your latte … The app has also established itself in the hushed world of catering, shaking up the lives of chefs and gourmets.
Thirty-year-old Parisian, Maëlle Bourras follows “about fifteen chefs” including the three-star Alain Passard (half a million subscribers) and the highly publicized Cyril Lignac (2.5 million subscribers). “On the weekends I try to replicate some of their creations. It’s free, open access and it allows me to vary from the usual dishes, “explains the young woman.
How about going to Croatia? Or take a stroll along rue Crémieux in Paris? Instagram is also the ideal showcase for tourist offices that rely on the app and Instagrammers to promote destinations.
Pauline Privez takes six to seven “sponsored trips” per year, “without counting the small press trips over 2 days”. The influencer posts “stories” or makes posts promoting a destination, for a fee.
No more travel guides, the young woman now only relies on the platform: “I ask for recommendations from my community or I search via geolocation tools”.
During the great confinement, the time spent on Instagram, as on other platforms, exploded. But after two months of photos of progress in yoga and other gastronomic prowess, the American movement Black Lives Matter (“black lives matter”) has become essential on the platform, which has taken on a militant and political dimension until then discreet.
At the same time, the very young TikTok, which seemed to be the preserve of the youngest (the famous Generation Z), followers of entertaining, musical or parody videos, conquered a much larger audience. Its immense popularity threatens to dethrone Instagram, the kingdom of “millennials”.