You guys know me well enough by now, I like to weigh in and share my opinions on the conversations happening in our community. The topic I wanna tickle your minds with today? The glaring question—is Instagram considered a blog or not?
This is yet another controversial one. I’ve thought long and hard, asked my friends and colleagues, and done my fair share of research. I know you guys look to me for an informed opinion, and an informed opinion is what I shall provide. Let’s take a look at the convenient similarities and the distinct differences between Instagram and a blog, so together, we can decide.
So, is Instagram considered a blog?
Straight in with the big one. The key similarity between Instagram and a blog, from the creator’s perspective, is that they both allow you to generate income, albeit in slightly different ways.
Through your blog, it is easier to run affiliate marketing campaigns with the brands you are collaborating with. Instagram (arguably) makes this a little easier. By using hashtags, you can grow your following far more rapidly than you can through a blog, unless you invest money in advertising. Also, Instagram is easier and cheaper when you want to grow an organic following than on a traditional blog.
Regardless of the technicalities of how it’s achieved, it is possible to create an income through a blog and through Instagram. It goes without saying that when you marry the two together, you’ll earn more—if you play your cards right that is.
Sharing Opinions and Information
Both on a blog and on Instagram, you can share your opinions and educate and inform your audience. In this sense alone, a blog and Instagram are one and the same.
Both are unrestricted when it comes to expressing your opinion and the way you choose to word your posts. They allow you the freedom to discuss and communicate your opinions in any way you choose. Obviously, there are tried-and-tested methods of communication through blogs and Instagram that work better than others. Some communication techniques work great for some niche communities and not for others.
The point is, both blogs and Instagram give you the opportunity to express your views, thoughts, and knowledge to your audience for free.
(Yes, I know you’ve gotta invest in a blog, but at the very heart of it, blogging is still free).
Emphasis on Visuals
Blogging was originally created for writers, for storytellers, and for wordsmiths to get their voice heard. I love blogging as it gives creators the chance to ease into the piece, to build up to the important points, and to express more of themselves. You’ve got the whole page to fill in at your will!
Instagram, although some would argue is all about the captions, is in reality all about the visuals. Instagram is a growing platform because a picture really does speak a thousand words. I have friends who follow Instagram personalities whose captions are posted in a language they don’t understand. They follow them not for the captions, but for the great visuals.
However, Instagram is still ideal for communicating with mass audiences that otherwise you would be unable to reach effectively.
Attention Span of Audience
Another big difference between a blog and Instagram is the attention span of your audience. Blogs are set up in such a way that they attract the reader and get them to focus on the text. Instagram merely feeds into the age of instant and the progressive decline of audience’s attention spans.
As a blogger, this is unfortunate, but as an audience member, I can totally relate. I have to actively make the decision to sit down, focus and read a blog, even if I’m just skim reading. Same with all blog audience members, they have a far greater attention span on this platform.
Whereas on Instagram, I can have a quick, mindless scroll whenever and wherever I like. Hands up if you’ve had a scroll on Instagram while doing a number 2! We’ve all been there!
More than anything, Instagram has total control over your audience’s attention span as they allow your captions to be a maximum of 2,200 characters. To give you perspective, that’s about two and a half times this subsection.
I guess that’s the best part of a blog—when you just can’t help but ramble infinitely for as many characters as you like.
A small but significant point this one. What the fuck is tone anyway?
Instagram is generally a positive platform, like squeaky-clean-kinda-fake positive at times.
On a blog, you can generally keep it real and just blab about anything. You can adjust your tone to fit the topic you’re writing about and keep it consistent with your online personality. Although, you can totally adjust the tone of your captions. As a blanket rule, creators aim to keep Instagram as an informal and light-hearted platform as this is proven to help gain followers.
So, Manuel. What the hell is your point here? Just answer the question, is Instagram considered a blog or not?
Well, taking all this into account and as open-minded as I can be, I believe that Instagram cannot be considered a blog. Let me explain.
Yes, Instagram can suffice for some niche industries. However, eventually, a blog is more sustainable for big chunks of information, most especially evergreen information. Instagram can be an expansion of my blog, for instance, as a chance to weasel my way into your newsfeed, share all the small updates with you, hook you into digging deeper into my page, and make me more human and reachable. “Hey, I use social media, too. Let me plaster my face and what I had for breakfast on here.”
These extra, more frequent visuals appearing in your feed help build up a better image of me to you. Now, you see what I meant by squeaky-clean-kinda-fake positive? I can control which part of my life to share with you. Based on my Instagram, you can see that I am actually in the Philippines and that I have sulked back home to Switzerland. You can see that I work hard; maybe a little too much at times. These details alone, with the help of proper hashtags, can already help me connect with a bigger audience.
But 2,200-character Instagram captions can fill a blog-like space, you say? Sure, if you are a good wordsmith, you can tell your story and educate your audience in such an express method. But just as how express your storytelling is, your story can be buried into people’s newsfeeds express too! Also, I’m dubious as to how many of us would fully focus and read all 2,200 characters from our favorite bloggers before we double tap. I think many of us see photo, double tap, and scroll the fuck away.
In short, I think don’t think that Instagram is a blog; especially when you look at the actual definition. What I do believe, though, is that Instagram has its place set in the online community, and it’s only going to get bigger.
My verdict: Marry these two incredible platforms for a profitable, successful, and inspiring online presence.
What do you think? As ever, I’m super curious to hear what you guys think. What are your experiences with blogging and using Instagram? Do you prefer to use one over the other? Let’s make this topic grow and see how we can learn from each other.