DSLR photos on Instagram? An app’s purpose is whatever users say it is

April 30, 2012

While I believe that sharing DSLR or edited photos on Instagram is acceptable, even desirable, whether users should is a worthy debate.


A worthy debate for the user community, which holier-than-thou arguments like this one at best ignore, and at worst insult.

In opposing the publishing of DSLR or edited photos on Instagram, freelance photographer, video and content producer Nate Benson writes that uploading non-mobile, non-real time photos is not what Instagram was intended for.

I’m not sure whether he has inside knowledge of the creators’ intentions, but even if he does, that’s not for him or the creators to decide. The purpose of a social platform is whatever users say it is. Right now, some users are saying that Instagram is in part for sharing DSLR and edited photos. And other users, like Benson, are saying that it’s not.

Great. Let the debate play out. If enough users agree with Benson, their feedback, through negative reactions to DSLR or edited photos, including ignoring them, and positive reactions to unadulterated smartphone photos, will correct the behavior of users who agree with me.

Until then, or until the opposite result, who is Benson to say that users are using the platform improperly, and who am I to say that they’re using it correctly?

To accept otherwise is to stymie the generatvitiy that made the Internet what it is — or, for that matter, made the Internet. I’m perfectly open to arguments against evolutionary uses of Instagram, or any other service, but they need to be made on narrower grounds.


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