The difference between Hipstamatic and Instagram
Instagram, Hipstamatic. Hipstamatic, Instagram. In a lot of people’s minds, the two go together. Yeah, those iphone people add those filters in Hipstamatic or Instagram, whatever. People confuse the two and think they’re pretty much the same thing. As they used to say about the internet, they just don’t get it.
A recent article in the British Journal of Photography about Hipstamatic’s plans to open a foundation for photojournalism did precisely this. Three times the journal lumps together Instagram and Hipstamatic as if there is no difference between the two. But here’s a clue as to the main difference: Instagram was just sold for $1 billion while Hipstamatic is laying off its staff. So why is one app so much more successful than the other? Are their filters better than Hipstamatic’s? No. It’s because Instagram isn’t about the filters, it’s about the social platform. Yes, it has filters, in a slightly different way to Hipstamatic, but they account for the tiniest fraction (if at all) of that $1 billion valuation. And most Instagramers don’t bother with the Instagram filters once they have discovered the universe of other photography apps available. They just use Instagram as their photo showing platform.
The driving force behind mobile photography is its social aspect. People get enormous pleasure from other people seeing, and commenting on, their photos and from being inspired by other people’s images. Which they do a lot of the time and often, when they get hooked on a platform like Instagram. Mobile photography has breathed life into a previously rather sleepy genre. It has made photography a social activity when before it was mainly limited to dark rooms and the pages of journals.
Instagram and Hipstamic: not the same