well, it seems that instagram really sucked up what little free time I had recently: I completed not one, not two but three self-imposed monthly challenges (of course I have to set goals and take things seriously, but that's just how I am).
so, what did I found out about it: it's satisfying not only because it's crazily easy to access from a smartphone (I mean, like twitter, but most of the time you don't even have to read), but because, while sharing things – moods, daily wanderings, meals, favourite objects etc. – you end up with a nice collection of details in your image folder, whose staying power is far superior to your twitterings', for example (if you happen to be keen on that--I am).
on twitter you edit news and links, and your thoughts and words, to the very bone, if you're so inclined. on instagram you edit your gaze, and and the effort of fitting that square cut is rewarded by the merciful influence of the app's filters on your photographs. I'm a bit ashamed to say I had not really understood what the iphone pictures' hi-res was about, up until now: but it's for enlarging and cutting, of course.
I still have to tidy up that folder and see what's really for keeps, if anything, but the ease of use and the networking motivation combined make instagram so often accessed that a nice photo app like hipstamatic, for example, feels cumbersome like using a reflex in comparison. and, while I'm all for slowness in general, I welcome quickness if it allows me to do something I wouldn't do at all otherwise.
the networking on instagram is very quick and apparently shallower than exchanging words through blogs and twitter, but it's more continuous (it depends on how many people you follow, of course, but keeping up to date seems doable) and therefore pervasive. exchanging pictures is so immediate that following people from the other side of the world on instagram instantly make a lot more sense than following them on twitter (and that's even if you share a common language).
(to be continued-probably)