Instagram, is THE BEST photo sharing apps today. Everybody has access to the internet and most of them use Instagram. What Instagram has done is that it has opened doors for additional income for many people. We all know Instagram as the photo sharing app and people on Instagram as errr… Instagrammers. Like YouTubers, TikTokers. But can they be called Bloggers ? As in Instagram Bloggers ? Is Instagram Blogging a thing ? I share my honest opinions in this post.
What is Instagram ?
My dad always tells me that to understand a concept or a thing, one should know about the history first. So let’s start with what is Instagram. And the answer to this question won’t be my thoughts, but actual articles, verified definition of what is Instagram.
So one thing is clear that Instagram is a Free Photo and Video sharing app and Instagram is not a blog or blogging platform. Which means that users can post photos and videos on Instagram. We now have new features like Instagram Stories and IGTV too. Apart from Instagram’s own official blog, there’s no mention of it being a blog apart from the users claiming themselves to be Food Bloggers, Travel Bloggers etc.
What is Blogging ?
Now let’s understand what is blogging. Again these aren’t definitions that I’ve created. Blog is actually an abbreviation of the word web-log. Which basically means logs of something on the web. Coined in the 1990s, blog became a popular term in the 2000s and gained popularity ever since. Let’s see the definition of a blog before we talk about what is blogging.
Now that we know what a blog is, let us see what is blogging. Merriam-Webster has two definitions of blogging:
- To write or have a blog – Intransitive Verb
- To write about (something) on a blog – Transitive Verb
I guess we have the basics cleared now as to what is Instagram, what is a blog and what is blogging. And it pretty much clears the air about having an
Instagram Blog, or being an Instagram Blogger or Instagram Blogging – is not a thing ! I however, don’t deny if we called Instagram as a Micro-blogging platform. Because as per definition, a micro blog is a social media site where users share frequent and brief updates in form of text, pictures or videos.
Is Instagram Blogging even a thing ?
After having given you the gyan about what is Instagram, what is a blog and what is blogging, let me share my opinion on whether Instagram Blogging is actually a thing or not. With the rapid rise in Influencer Marketing, everyone with a smartphone considers themselves an influencer. And since Instagram is a free platform, we have most of the influencers over there. (because who wants to invest on a domain name, a hosting package etc.)
After all Mr. Viru Sahastra Budhe from 3 Idiots said “Life is a race, If you don’t run fast… You will be like a broken anda…” So who would want to spend time creating a blog and maintaining it when Instagram is free and quick to setup and hassle-free. Below are my thoughts on Instagram Blogging.
#1 It’s Instagram’s Fault
My first take on Instagram blogging even being a thing would be it’s Instagram’s fault. Yes ! If you are a user of Instagram, you that you can have two type of profiles – Personal and Business. Most people use personal profile on Instagram. However influencers prefer a Business profile because it provides additional benefits like actionable stats, CTA options, category labels, Instagram ads to name a few.
The Category Label which by the way can be hidden too lists a few categories which a business can belong to. Now since most of the influencers don’t actually own a business, the closest category they find relatable is ‘Personal Blog’ or ‘Blogger’. Also Instagram auto suggests Blogger and Personal Blog. So the influencers go with it and eventually call themselves as Instagram Bloggers and do Instagram Blogging. Here is an updated list of all the Instagram Category Labels for your consideration.
#2 It’s the Media’s fault
I’ve spoken earlier about the rise in Influencer Marketing and how brands are taking it up seriously. What previously was limited only to OOH advertising or probably TV ads, slowly moved into the digital space and eventually led to influencer marketing. In my interview I spoke about how this is going to rise in future. Now, a typical buyer journey starts with the Awareness phase. It’s that phase where you make the customer aware about an issue or a happening.
And one of the best ways to do it is blogging. People research a lot before making a purchase decision. Which means, if you have a blog post which provides information to the user, you get a share in the customer’s mind. Double it up with a blog post positioning your product or service for the next phase and eventually convert it into a sale.
With the advent of platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram (and now TikTok) Brands realized that these can be a good medium to showcase their products either in the form of ads or by influencers promoting it. Being visual mediums, it is well suited for industries that rely on visual appeal – Food & Travel to name a few. Also the number of active users on these platforms have risen a lot in a short span of time.
So when brands used blogging earlier and now when they moved to Instagram, they decided to call it Instagram Blog, Instagram Blogging or Instagram Blogger. I’ve come across so many PRs who use the word blogger rather loosely. In fact even some well know editors of leading newspapers showcase people as Food and Travel Bloggers even when they don’t own a blog !
#3 Lack of Awareness and knowledge
Lastly, I feel that it’s the lack of awareness of the users on such platforms who consider themselves to be bloggers. And that’s what I’ve explained what is Instagram, what is blog and what is blogging at the beginning of this post. The thing is there are a lot of articles on the internet that talk about Instagram Blogging and starting a blog on Instagram. And sadly these are the links that popup when you search for terms like “who is a blogger on Instagram” or “Instagram blog“.
7 out of 10 links on the first page talk about starting an Instagram Blog, Blogging on Instagram, Instagram Blogging etc. And that’s one of the primary reasons to write this post. I’m not going to share the links here to promote them more. So anyone who wishes to start an Instagram page would Google and find these posts and start calling themselves Instagram Bloggers and do Instagram blogging 🙁
What have we learnt: Is Instagram Blogging even a thing ?
Let’s summarize as to what we have learnt about Instagram Blogging in this post.
- Instagram is a free photo & video sharing platform and not a blogging platform
- a blog is a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer
- blogging is writing about something on a blog
So, we can conclude the following based on our findings
- One doesn’t blog on Instagram as Instagram isn’t a blogging platform
- An Instagram Page isn’t a blog
- If you post photos, videos, stories, on Instagram, you are an Instagrammer and not a blogger
Hence, is Instagram Blogging even a thing ? NO ! There’s nothing like a Instagram Blog, Instagram Blogging or even an Instagram Blogger. Instagram doesn’t even position itself as a blogging or a micro-blogging platform. However, we can call it a micro-blogging platform.
Are Bloggers better than Instagrammers ?
Absolutely No ! Blogging and Instagram are two different things and both of them require a good amount of efforts and I don’t deny that. The root of each of these things is creativity and creativity isn’t easy at all. At one side we have bloggers who think about the content, write it, plan the strategy and leverage social media tools to reach their audience. On the other hand, we have Instagrammers following a rather similar process. They start by thinking what to post, create the frame, click multiple photos, edit the photos, share them and engage with audience.
The only difference being that blogging is a long form of content and thus takes a long time to create content than an Instagram post. My intention is not to start a Blogger vs Instagrammer war like the one going on between Tiktokers and YouTubers. My only concern is Instagrammers calling themselves bloggers and brands, PRs too using the term Instagram Bloggers. In fact, I recently found that there are a couple of Blogger magazines which has 90% Instagrammers and only a handful of bloggers and then they call themselves as a Bloggers magazine 🙁
Don’t call yourself a blogger if you aren’t one
This is one of the longest blog post I’ve written and the only reason was to share my thoughts on Instagram blogging, Instagram Blog and Instagram blogger. I hope now you understand the point I’m trying to make here:
- If you are on YouTube, you are a YouTuber,vlogger
- If you are on Tiktok, you are a Tiktoker
- If you have a blog, you are a blogger
- Hence, if you are on Instagram, you are an Instagrammer
I hope that everyone including the influencers, brands, media understand and stop abusing the word Blogger. Anyone with an Instagram Food page isn’t a Food Blogger and similarly anyone with an Instagram Travel page isn’t a Travel Blogger. And with that I rest my case. What are your thoughts on this topic ? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj or DM me on Instagram.