Instagram is probably that one network everyone wants to crack. The Facebook-owned photo and video sharing app claims to have more than 400 million users on its platform sharing pictures that matter to them. Driven by its hashtags that aid in discovery, Instagram attracts the smartphone generation like no other network.
India’s status as second largest smartphone market globally is only helping this rise. Although the company has shied away from sharing India numbers, it does state that its monthly actives in India have more than doubled over the past year (as of September 2015).
The recent “Indians on Instagram” study by Neilsen found that over 90% of local Instagrammers are less than 30 years old, mobile-first users with high spending power. “18 – 24 age group is the most active on Instagram with more than 80% using their phone to take pictures to post on social media,” the study highlighted.
They use Instagram to express themselves artistically among like-minded people and then to follow celebrity trends. Some of them discover information and also share food and travel options. Key interests include music, travel, food, photography, technology, fashion and sports.
So, how are Indian newspapers using Instagram? The app does not allow them to add their news links, nor do Instagrammers bother about the trending news of the day. All they fancy are breathtaking images about the world, and if the image tells them the story, your job as a newspaper is done. Read: How Indian Brands Are Telling Stories On Instagram One Picture At A Time
We take a look at how our newspapers are engaging Indian millennials on Instagram, powered only with their images.
The English-language Indian daily from the Indian Express Group has clocked over 1485 Instagram posts for its 10.6k followers, at the time of writing this. The Instagram page is basically the ‘best photographs from The Indian Express archives and photographers on the field, curated by National Photo Editor Neeraj Priyadarshi.’
The owner of the Tata Nano is delighted the graffiti on his car makes it to the Instagram page of Indian Express;
A #graffitii seen on a #car, a #dialogue of #Bollywood #movie #sholay in #Newdelhi #india #dailylife #everydayindia #everydayeverywhere #reportagespotlight #gabbar #indiapictures #delhigram #_soi #instadaily #art #picoftheday #photooftheday #instagram #photojournalism #express #photo by Ravi Kanojia @lensmanravikanojia
A student dressed up as Gandhi gets all the likes:
@amitchakravarty Early #morning blue’s .. A school kid dressed up as #Gandhi during an event on effective disposal of #E-Waste in #Mumbai. #IndianExpress #LoksattaLive #ReportageSpotlight #GettyImages #picoftheday #indiapictures #instamumbai #my_mumbai #Mumbai_igers #EverydayMumbai #Everydayasia #EverydayIndia #amitchakravarty #Photos #Photojournalism #photojournal #photoaday #Latergram #betterphotography
A photo posted by The Indian Express (@indianexpress) on
The Times of India
The largest circulated English-language daily newspaper in the world from Bennett Coleman & Co, is leveraging Instagram to share stories, one picture at a time. Apart from pictures, it also shares short videos on the platform to tell a better story. The popular toon of the day also makes an entry on the Instagram page. However, it has shared only 113 posts to its over 124k followers.
Daily toons to make your day:
How bad is the Beijing pollution, captured in a picture video:
A video posted by The Times of India (@thetimesofindia) on
The English-language daily newspaper with the largest base of circulation in southern India, is also bringing the news in images on Instagram. It has shared over 2187 posts with its 66.2k followers.
Capturing life as it braves the Chennai rains:
The living root bridge in Meghalaya:
A view of the living root bridge in #mawlynnong in #meghalaya The #bridge was made of twisting the roots of giant trees. They make a pathway across a stream, making it easy for villagers to commute. The bridge fashioned by #khasi villagers, attract tourists from all over the world Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar #rootbridge #india #environment
A photo posted by The Hindu (@the_hindu) on
The flagship English-language daily newspaper from HT Media uses Instagram to tell stories via images. It has shared over 1197 posts for its 37.5k followers till date.
A still from the Delhi Queer Pride Parade:
Photo by @rajkraj79 – Many colors of Love! A participant supporting Rainbow colors during the 8th Delhi Queer Pride Parade. (November 29, 2015) #instawithHT #rainbowflag #rainbowcolours #rainbow #colors #gay #lesbian #lgbt #parade #delhiqueerprideparade #prideparade #queerprideparade #delhi #news #india #asia #nation #national #photojournalism
The fire show on Navy Day at Gateway of India:
Photo by @aripho1 – Naval personnel present a fire show during Tattoo ceremony to mark 44th Navy Day at the Gateway of India, in Mumbai. (December 04, 2015) #InstawithHT #TattooCeremony #NavyDay #Soldiers #Respect #Fire #Mumbai #India #Asia #Photojournalism
A photo posted by Hindustan Times (@hindustan_times) on
The Economic Times
One of India’s most widely read business newspaper, Economic Times is not very regular on Instagram. It has shared only 52 posts with its 854 followers till date. Consequently, the engagement in likes and comments is also low.
Modi’s visit to Singapore and the must have selfie:
Ahmed Mohamed made a clock that was mistaken for a bomb:
This Sept. 17, 2015, file photo shows #Ahmed Mohamed, 14, gestures as he arrives to his family’s home in Irving, Texas. Attorneys for a Mohamed, who was arrested after the homemade #clock he took to his Dallas-area school was mistaken for a possible bomb, said Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, he was publicly mistreated and deserves $15 million
A photo posted by The Economic Times (@the_economic_times) on
We looked for several Indian English dailies on Instagram but they haven’t opened their innings on the photo network yet. It could be a lack of resources or the will to engage the average Instagram user, but whatever the reason, they are missing out on connecting with millennials in this less text-more visual world.
The above listed newspapers on Instagram are doing a good job with their pictures doing all the talking. It can be seen that sharing pictures from the photo archives, the use of relevant and popular hashtags of Instagram and the little stories in the caption make for an interesting follow to the new age on-the-go Indian millennial.