© 2011 Zachary McCune Zachary McCune Instagram Research Cambridge

A Study of Instagram

Today’s information society has become reliant on consumer production. The concurrent emergence of advanced mobile technology and media networks that use consumer content are defining a new type of media ecosystem- social media.

Taking the “Instagram” iPhone app as a case study, I spent my final four months at Cambridge researching the motivations for photo-sharing on a mobile platform. The research required a month of using the app everyday, a close ethnography of a London Instagram meet-up, and 25 open-response surveys. It was quite exhausting, especially in such a narrow research time frame! But the reward is a set of invaluable data which challenges popular critiques of social media (i.e. Instagram users were not lazy about their production, but obsessed with details in crafting their images) and presents a vivid portrait of contemporary social media users.

I have prepared a 5 page executive summary that is available for download directly below. The full document is at the bottom of the page.

Consumer Production in Social Media Networks: Executive Summary

The full 80 page dissertation:

Consumer Production in Social Media Networks: A Case Study of the “Instagram” iPhone App

10 Comments

  1. christopher parks
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm | #

    Zachary,

    Just wanted to say nice work and tremendous insights! This was well constructed and I appreciate you sharing this with the world at-large.

    cp

  2. Posted June 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm | #

    looking forward to sitting down and reading this. Somebody puts that much effort into it, I’ve got to know more!

  3. Posted July 13, 2011 at 7:53 am | #

    Zachary -

    I have not yet had the opportunity to read your dissertation, but want to thank you for choosing this topic to deconstruct. To say that Instagram has changed my life is profoundly understated, and I am a firm believer that Instagram will have a much greater effect on the world than Twitter. Even more fascinating was a recent commercial of a major CPG, where the subjects strictly communicated via mobile photos. InstagramNYC will embrace you with open arms anytime you make it to NYC.

  4. Posted July 14, 2011 at 4:46 am | #

    Great insight, will read this fully for sure.

  5. Zachary McCune
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:40 am | #

    Thanks Christopher! So happy you found it useful!

  6. Zachary McCune
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:40 am | #

    Enjoy it! Let me know what you make of it.

  7. Zachary McCune
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:41 am | #

    Stephen – Happy you found the topic ideal. Instagram is an incredible application and community. I look forward to hearing what you make of the research.

  8. Zachary McCune
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:41 am | #

    Thanks Lee!

  9. Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:18 am | #

    Looking forward to reading the study. I will be interested to see if your studies highlighted how the app gained critical mass.

  10. Anna Aprita
    Posted September 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm | #

    Hi Zachary,

    I’m Anna, Indonesian undergraduate student. I found this research is really interesting. Can I get your email? Need something to ask about this. Thankyou!

6 Trackbacks

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