That Apple is a conduit for creativity is not, at this point, a surprise (its devices have reconfigured our creative landscape in unprecedented ways, after all). That it doesn’t have an Instagram account is. But that’s just changed.
The Apple iPhone is the most popular camera in the world, responsible for over one trillion photographs every year. Two years ago, the company launched the ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign, celebrating the finest in community-generated phone photography and highlighting how the easy access and egalitarian nature of the iPhone’s camera has fundamentally changed our relationship with the medium.
#ShotoniPhone by… – 1. Paul O. @pauloctavious “I’ve just always been attracted to rainbows. It’s like magic. But now that I know how rainbows are made, it’s like I’m performing my own magic.” – 2. Tyrone P. @robotfaced “I’ve actually found two or three, or let’s say two and a half, species of chameleons that are not officially known to science. You can’t look in a text book or a field guide and find these animals. There’s simply not enough known about them.” – 3. Jirasak P @joez19 “I live in a small town and own a small trucking fleet in Thailand. I am not a professional photographer.” – 4. Jenn Z. @thesdcowgirl “I feel claustrophobic when I go to the city now. You get so used to being able to see for miles. I call it cowgirl church.” – 5. Yais Y. @_yaisyusman_ “I call the series The Hanging Collection. It's simply creating an illusion of a person hanging.”
The launch of the @Apple Instagram account is a natural continuation of this. The process is simple: Instagram users tag their images with #ShotoniPhone and Apple will act as curator of its own channel, choosing the best images via the hashtag and recirculating them from its account, giving almost unimaginable exposure to its users. Diversity, Apple stress, is key: whether amateur or professional, the platform and imagery will draw on all all subjects and walks of life, shining a light – or rather, pointing a lens – on Apple’s diverse community.
Refreshingly, the channel will also be advert-free. And while featured users won’t be remunerated, as such, Apple will occasionally commission its photographers directly, with the aim of sparking new ideas within the community.
Instagram might not be new, but Apple’s embrace of the platform promises to open vibrant new channels for creativity. Which, given its history, is no great surprise.