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Inventive Instagramming

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Instagram isn’t all about Kimye’s family portraits and belfies. It can also be a tool for you to forge your own online artistic identity. Why not get inventive with the Instagram format? 

With a little twist, you can use those grid lines and multiple posting to give a unique perspective to how you curate your photography on the app. For businesses, it’s the chance to know that everything you post is seen by everyone who follows you. Forrester found that Instagram content generates 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter. Overall though, as a social media platform, it allows the user to get creative. Getting visual is always a great way to communicate. According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian 93% of our communication is nonverbal. Our brains decode images much more rapidly than text or speech, where we have to connect the dots linerarly in the sequence it’s presented to us. With images, our brains can go wild.

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So Instagram, unlike the extremely linear and time-sensitive feeds of Twitter and Facebook, is great for our understanding of what is being posted in front of us. And if we can play with that format even more…well, why not. From multiple posting to architectural grids, the following users are skewering how we present visual work on Instagram to beautiful effect.

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The Instagram hack has been perfected by @orhganic aka Ng Weijiang, a Singapore-based street photographer. He captures architecture and places them together to make seamless large-scale compositions that translate perfectly to the grid format. With work that is sometimes surreal, sometimes straight, he plays with what could be simple shots of the street and turns them into something more artistic.

Meanwhile, @jacquemus uses the rule of threes in his visual work, giving each photograph a small change to create a visually compelling account. Even just moving from horizontal to vertical he gives us a different perspective on the same shot. Basically like a game of spot the difference, with more go-go girls and hipster beards.

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Then there’s @_woolf__ whose mysterious website is ‘coming soon’ but whose Instagram content is a visual feminist dream. From Frida Khalo to vintage ads, this account sources inspirational content and presents it in a brilliantly engaging way.

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Even Ikea has gotten in on the act, creating a clickable catalogue through Instagram. The Russian division of the affordable homeware store teamed up with Moscow based Instinct. Fudging their way around Instagram’s inability to host clickable links they painstakingly created an account for each product, allowing followers to add their own images of their flat-pack dreams. This unconventional experiment seriously boosted Ikea’s social status and gave them some cool-points for playing around with the advertising social status-quo.

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Of course, the only issue with these inventive Instagrammers is although their profiles look amazing, posting multiple times can be a bit of a clog to your own newsfeed. But it’s worth it to see how we can hack our way around social platforms that at first glance can see restrictive. And, as Instragram's web presence hasn't caught up with the seamless scrolling of the app, these accounts are best viewed on mobile. Overall though, as an art platform, I hope we start to see other visual artists playing around too. 

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