Instagram Copycat

In the age of social media, there are plenty of travel blogs, snaps and instagram posts providing us with a bit of wanderlust. With their creative photography and editing these bloggers spend time and time again awing us with their posts and inspiring us to explore the current city they are at or the latest “it” hotspot. These posts stimulate us to go to these places, take pictures and share them socially and receive as many ‘likes’ as we can. However, a while back, inspiration was taken a little too far. They say ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ however this time wasn’t the case.

Instagrammer Lauren Bullen, also known as gypsea_lust travels the world along with her partner to exotic destinations and takes her 1.2M followers along her trips via her blog and instagram account. Each of Bullen’s posts receives thousands of ‘likes’ and comments of fans who admire her photography. Her posts also inspire people to go to certain places or buy something she has worn however no one has gone as far as ‘Diana Alexa’, a.k.a @diana_alexa.

Recently Bullen has found herself feeling a bit weirded out after finding another Instagrammer, ‘Diana’ had been copying several of her instagram posts. ‘Diana’ didn’t simply choose to go to the same location or choose to wear something similar but rather she completely replicated Bullen’s posts. Bullen had said “[A]t first I thought it was all Photoshopped & had to take screen shots to compare the two,” however after further analyzation has realized that these are in fact real images.

 

Bullen also stated that “[She doesn’t] promote and tag everything [she wears], so that would have taken a lot of time and work, even down to the anklets and necklace”. “Not to mention the cost of all this- those outfits and accommodations don’t come at a cheap price.”

gallery-1479125231-instagram-pic-copy-6.jpg

 

gallery-1479468659-instagram-copy-pics.jpg

The situation surrounding Lauren Bullen and ‘Diana Alexa’ comes to show that in social media people seem more concerned whether a picture will achieve a desirable number of ‘likes’. It doesn’t matter is the content is already out there or if it is, like in this case, a complete replica.

What makes the “luxuryshoppers” the go to place for a unique and extravagant online experience?

The name of the website itself does not lend enough excitement to the “so called luxury shopper or taste maker”, however once you dive into the world of Lian Beraha and Ezgi Icel the founders of www.luxuryshoppers.com you indulge yourself in fashion, art, music, and lifestyle of a different level when compared to other high end magazines.  Its for an audience with a refined taste and they know how to make it work by bringing in the international flair whilst using their ottoman charm.

With an Instagram following of 68.4k its easy to see why they have been gaining rapid success. A mix of dynamic style reports , designer interviews and lifestyle coverage make them niche providers especially in their domestic market. Harpers Bazaar have featured them in their list of fashion bloggers to follow, and it doesn’t get much better than featuring in the street style section of the Vogue UK and Vogue Italia. Not only does the site feature and provide services on wardrobe planning, shopping with or without the client, style/image/gift consulting and getting ready for an event but also an experience on shopping abroad which I think is a major reason why audiences also give this platform another turn around.

Improving on the site layout and the way content is portrayed I think would really add to their expansion. Extra tabs such as Escape, Pardon my French, Boyz and More (which includes Books, Décor, Design, Eat in Style and Inspiration) share some of the most fascinating finds and takes the viewer outside the box of the normal and expected high fashion scene and into a more sophisticated one at their fingertips.

Written by Hets

The Voices of the Faceless

Who is the writer behind your computer screens? Social media is a very interesting thing that just keeps on growing. As internet becomes more and more accessible, people are finding their way onto these media outlets whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or the one I’m going to be talking about: the Blogosphere. There are many types of blogs out there: food, fashion, news, beauty, lifestyle, and more. Now we see blogs as being so prevalent in today’s culture, but it wasn’t always that way.imgres

According to WebdesignerDepot, the first recognized blogging site was Links.net, created by Justin Hall in 1994. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that blogging had started to expand. By 2006, there were reportedly 50 million blogs online, compared to 1999’s lonely 23 blogs – that’s a huge expansion. With the growth of blogs online, the internet started to see more articles giving “how-to” advice on starting a successful blog and rounding up a following.

orig_tn_photo-40288-244302When I started learning about blogs, it wasn’t the concept of a blog that interested me, it was the fact the anyone- ANYONE, could start one and have it be potentially successful. I started following more and more blogs, one being The Style Rookie. This was a blog created by a twelve year old girl named Tavi Gevinson. It started as a fashion blog, and her father didn’t take her new hobby too seriously, until it became wildly popular. Tavi was being interviewed by The New York Times and was soon given the opportunity to have not only her own website but also a magazine which she named Rookie.

Blogging never ceases to amaze with all of the things people can accomplish by simply posting their thoughts. You create a following and you speak to people, no matter who you are or how old you might be. That’s the truly amazing thing about not only blogging but social media platforms in general. If you have something that you are passionate about that makes other people excited, you can make a difference. 

Written by: Rachel Mueller

 

Instagram, The New Snapchat? (Elizabeth Field’s Assignment 1 Post)

In 2016, Instagram, the Facebook-owned company, announced that they would be releasing a stories feature similar to the one offered by Snapchat, the rival of the photo and video sharing app.rs_300x300-160808140226-600.snapchat-vs-instagram.cm.8816.jpg

The Instagram update will allow users to send content to their friends and followers through the Instagram direct message and story feature which will delete after 24 hours. After its’ release, people were up in arms about Instagram stealing Snapchat’s idea.

Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, has admitted to copying Snapchats platform saying “They (Snapchat) deserve all of the credit.”

instagram-stories-ios-100674960-large.pngLater in the Techcrunch interview, Kevin Systrom said “When you are an innovator, that’s awesome.Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront this isn’t about who invented something. This is a format, and how you take it to a network and put your spin on it.”

It’s a common practice in the social media industry to use and alter another platforms “imperfections.” Instagram is just changing and updating Snapchats features on their platform making it easier to use and even more addicting. “Facebook invented feed, LinkedIn took on feed, Twitter took on feed, Instagram took on feed, and they all feel very different now, and they all serve very different purposes.”

After Instagram Stories was released, Chelsea Briggs of HollyWire created a Youtube video comparison between Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories she said: “It’s (Instagram Stories) easy to use it’s all in one place and I already have an audience I have a relationship with.”

If you are wondering how to use Instagram Stories then my question to you is, have you ever used Snapchat before? Because it is the same; from writing on photos or videos to adding emojis to the photos or videos. The only question now is: which platform will be more successful with their stories feature?

Written by: Elizabeth Field

Instagram: The Advertising Platform of the New Millennial

Instagram is rapidly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms with over 150 million active users (Statista, 2017). The amount of users continues to increase. In the past five years, the application has been a useful marketing tool for top brands looking to influence more consumers at a time.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 12.23.05 PM.png

                                        Graph depicting growth in users from 2016 to 2017

One way brands have been reaching more of their target market is by using ‘influencers’ to promote product in one of their Instagram posts. People such as Kourtney Kardashian and Kris Wu partner with popular brands to represent and use applications such as Instagram to promote them. Individuals can make from $10 a person or in the thousands based on how big their following is. It is a known fact consumers will more likely buy a product they see one of their favorite celebrities using them (Huffington Post, 2016).

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 12.30.12 PM.png  Kris Wu for Burberry 2016 Advertisement on Instagram

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 12.21.39 PM.pngKourtney Kardashian Manuka Cashmere Touch Cream Advertisement 2016

Brands, in general, use their Instagram accounts to promote their new merchandise. The pictures are arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner capturing the attention of their consumers. From high end brands such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana to smaller brands like BLANC & ECLARE will use this application to spread awareness of their brand and new merchandise is released. Brands also use this application to launch special offers happening within the companies.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 12.26.21 PM.png         Jessica Jung Advertisement for Blanc & Eclare S/S 2017 Campaign (Founder of Brand) on Instagram

What does this mean for the future of the advertising industry and social media platforms? Shoppers are likely to find more inspiration from online sources rather than watching a commercial. Social media applications are a powerful tool for advertising companies because it helps them reach a larger demographic rather than limiting themselves to a particular market. Eventually this could lead to fashion brands putting an emphasis on social media rather than spending millions on filming commercials consumers may not even watch. The rise of social media is evident and more brands will begin to use it as the primary tool to spread their brand awareness with millions.

Written By: Zenobia Afeworki

Word Count: 314

Social Media Campaign @goldenpartsoflondon

We actually came up with another plan at first, but when that pl17572065_1439152102794504_1320560685_o.jpgan could not happen we had to go with our plan B; To create our
very own and unique instagram account of London inspiration. We created an instagram account for the local londoners and the so called new born londoners but also for the vacation ones. All over all, we created an instagram account where we posted golden parts and places of London to inspire and help people have a good time in this city of a thousand cultures and possibilities. The name came naturally to us; goldenpartsoflondon. The name simply explains what the account is all about; the golden parts of London.

Our aims were to post good quality pictures with a variation of context to satisfy a larger amount of people, a larger variation of individuals. We still had one common theme in all the pictures and posts; to keep a relation and connection throughout all the pictures and to inspire. We posted three pictures per restaurant, museum and other places to have a pattern in our feed and also for our followers to get a larger insight and idea about each place. In this way we attract the person’s eye, who possibly found our account through hashtags, with our inspirational feed before they even had the chance to have a close look on each picture and its giving but yet so simple, inspirational caption.

17571812_1439152096127838_1630961187_o.jpg17475094_1439152082794506_573583275_o.jpg

(Here is examples on two of our pictures of how the hashtags and caption could look like. The left one is one of the later pictures with the new edit and the one to the right is one of the first ones)

The tone of delivery we wanted to have was inspirational pictures to make people want to go there, be satisfied with their choice of going there and therefore being satisfied with taking on our advice, and in that way returning to our account and telling their friends and family about it. We also wanted to update frequently to not keep our followers on hold, we therefore decided to post three days a week. Three pictures per place, three days a week. We succeeded with this idea the first two weeks but we soon realised how much time it takes to take the pictures, edit them and post them with a suitable caption. What we could have done differently here is to re-post pictures from other Instagram-account, in this way we would also have gained followers by posting other peoples pictures with their name – in that way, they see our account, they will probably show their friends and family and we will be seen by more people and probably gain followers in that way. We would also try harder to actually update the account more, that would put us more out there and probably help us gain followers. The thing is that the followers we gained, we did not loose. Once they saw us, they stayed with us.

To create the inspirational feed that would attract and earn followers we decided, as mentioned above, to have three p17547619_1439154322794282_1725957128_o.jpgictures about the same place. In that way we would create a pattern and a larger knowledge about the place. We could have used Instagram’s new update where you can post several pictures in one post, where you slide to see the other pictures. But since we wanted to have an ongoing pattern in our feed, we decided to go with our idea about posting three individual pictures of the same place. Another move we wanted to fulfill and complete were to have the same edit and effect on all the pictures to please the eye in a smooth way. We began to have a bright touch to all the pictures, but as pictures were posted we realised that edit did not fit all the pictures because of lighting and content in the pictures. We therefore changed our edit to a more natural one, which we are going to stick to from now on.

(Here you can easily see our feed, starting to attract your eye more with the new choice of editing the pictures)

Another point we realised as we went on with our account is that we probably are directing our posts towards women and girls our age rather than a huge variation of individuals. After all, we are two girls who obviously engage in limited interests. The posts naturally becomes more about the interests we have and where we rather would go since our pictures are all photographed by us. This is, as mentioned above, something we would have done differently. In the future we would use other people’s pictures, tagging them and in that way be noticed in a different way and earning followers.

Stats and evidence of impact

What we actually did to get followers, was to use suitable hashtags underneath all our pictures. To get a knowledge and understanding about what hashtags were the most useful for us we looked for similar accounts and managed to find a few with thousands of followers. We also started following similar accounts both for us to gather inspiration and to be seen on their page when we frequently like their pictures. This actually did work (the hashtags and the accounts we followed), since people started following us and even a few of the ones with several thousand followers followed us as well.

17549002_1439185699457811_476476109_o.jpg17547670_1439207506122297_403863427_o.jpg17571403_1439185712791143_779552347_o.jpg17500566_1439207479455633_1745218937_o.jpg

(Judging on their amount of followers, their hashtags must be winners)

To watch the progress of our instagram towards the goals we choose to watch how interactive our followers was week by week. We looked after how our followers was increasing and the amount of likes and comments we got. Overall it was a steady increase with similar amount of new followers every week, the difference between week 1-3 and 3-6 was in the amount of likes. Since we were more active in week 1-3 rather than 3-6 it is not any surprising numbers. Beneath are the statistics for our instagram account @goldenpartsoflondon over the weeks.

Week 1-3        Week 3-6       Final result

Followers, 20     Followers, 19       Followers, 39
Comments, 3      Comments, 1       Comments, 4
Likes, 174           Likes, 88            Likes, 262

As mentioned before the whole process of finding a place, photograph it and edit the pictures was a lot more time consuming than we thought in first place. This could for example be solved by using reposts of other accounts. It will help us to get our name out there and to be discovered by more people. For the future we need to rethink both our short- and long term goals, such as posting every third day. To gain a larger range of followers, we would think about changing up our suggestions with places directed to all types of people. To be able to do this, we need to put more time and thought into it and research about what other people do. By “other people” we do mean someone not like us, the fact that we have pretty similar interests has been held against us in our goal and aim about reaching out to a large variation of individuals. Maybe we do need a new partner, to drag us outside the box. Because we do need to learn how to think outside the box, since it is difficult sometimes to have a knowledge about places and parts you would have never thought of yourself. Another thing we could do to gain followers is to engage our followers, this could be done by putting “Tag your photo with #goldenpartsoflondon” in our bio to make people engage more and help us to get a more frequent update every third day, by re-posting the best pictures. We actually did get mentioned through a tag in a picture posted by another bigger instagram page, with more followers than us. So another move in the future will be to focus on other accounts rather than our own to be seen in their and see the different possibilities of how we can help each other.

 

London College of Fashion (UAL)
Social Media, March 2017
Andrea Drottenmyr, Linnéa Ivetorn