With its 3-year anniversary quickly approaching this coming October, Instagram has grown tremendously with over 160 million monthly users and nearly 16 billion images created.
Over these few years, some notable trends, or “sins,” have risen to the forefront, from food to sunsets to #duckface selfies. Indulging in these Instagram sins is pretty common, and despite some of the mockery, users have created original and inspiring content.
Here’s your guide through these Instagram sins. Hopefully, we can help you transform them into Instagram virtues.
Sin #1: Gluttony, the Food Pornographer
Food photography has quickly risen to become a pillar of the Instagram community. From proud home cooks showing off their latest creations to foodies relishing in their new organic, vegan craze to Taco Bell’s creative #CantinaQuesadilla celebrations, the genre has completely taken on a life of it’s own. So amidst these millions of photos, how can you make your #foodporn stand out? Well, for one, don’t do this. Second, make sure the food looks as good as it tastes: mushy, watery eggs are still unappealing–no matter how many filters and edits you try to slap on it.
Sin #2: Lust, (or, rather, Love)
The #love hashtag has over 188 million photos on Instagram alone. People love love–it has its own holiday, movie genre, and almost every song on the radio is about it, so of course Instagram isn’t going to be any different. While it may be a wise choice to avoid #PDA posts, everyone enjoys those picturesque, “heart-string-tugging” couple or marriage photos. Renowned fine-art wedding photographer, Jose Villa is a great example; he takes shots from his gorgeous wedding photoshoots and displays them to a fan base of over 90k followers.
Sin #3: Pride, the Gratuitous Selfie
Selfies have attained a pretty bad reputation, but this Instagram “sin” can actually be pretty awesome when done right. The key is to have a purpose or meaning behind it–a new hairdo or outfit for example. Brands like Starbucks are doing cool campaigns around selfies with #SipFace and Instagram’s own #WHPreplacemyface showing how this sin can turn out to be a virtue.
Sin #4: Sloth, the Repost
Out of the 160 billion photos created on Instagram so far, there are probably at least one or two images that you’ve fallen absolutely in love with. The lighting, the creativity, the angle–everything is just so spectacular that you can’t help but want to share it. After all, beautiful things were meant to be admired and appreciated. If you love it, ask the creator if they’d be alright with a #regram. If not, just use the photo as inspiration for creating your own stunning photos–you might end up liking the results of the latter anyways!
Sin #5: Wrath, the Spam
Hackers love to target accounts with easy, low-security passwords – something many in the Instagram community learned with the now infamous fruit spam. Passwords with interspersed numbers and unexpected letter combinations are more secure. Second, if the hacker left any sketchy-looking links on your profile description or caption on photos, delete it so there’s no trace back. A little time-consuming, but the most effective way to get rid of the spam on your account.
Sin #6: Envy, the Hashtagger
The hashtag is an incredibly useful tool for brands and marketers, being able to centralize relevant content in one streamlined feed. This makes it possible for companies to create successful hashtag campaigns like #VFBestDressed and #ShowUsYourTips while avoiding generic overdone posts that look like “#follow #photooftheday #fun #love #me #cute #babies #puppies.” So let us #ShowYouOurTips on making great hashtags here.
Sin #7: Greed, the Rich Kids
Tackling the Instagram world with their wads of cash, Porche 911s, and private jets flying 17,000 feet above London, the rich kids have arrived, even earning their own dedicated tumblr. However, don’t stress yourself out just because a 16-year-old owns a diamond-studded private jet. It’s important to note that despite this group’s notoriety, they’re an extremely small demographic of the Instagram community. Their goal is to gain attention (surprise–rich kids wanting attention), but luckily for all of us, it’s pretty easy to avoid and ignore the bunch.
How guilty are you of these “sins”? Tell us about your favorite in the comments below or on Twitter at @getchute!