August 10th, 2017
Instafamous – Trust Me! I’m an InstaProfessional
The look you get when you say you are an InstaProfessional!
No profession is mentioned with more tongue-in-cheek than that of the ‘Instagram Model’.
Somehow the “Instagram” prefix diminishes whatever comes after and becomes synonymous with inexperienced, amateur, talentless and opportunistic. But regardless of how you feel, there are people who do this ‘profession’ and…wait for it…make actual money. Once you have taken a bunch of nice pictures and amassed a following, it only makes sense that an email address for “booking inquiries” suddenly appears in your profile because the fact is people will pay.
Other Instagram related professions have also become bigger in the last 2 years particularly in comedy. Instagram comedians (I can see your eyes rolling) have risen to ridiculous numbers especially after the closure of Vine. It’s not always funny but you still watch it and many of these accounts have clearly put in time into developing content that get them your views, likes and follows. There are also Instagram make-up artists, stylists, chefs, singers and more who churn out content like it pays the bills and for some it already does.
Let me veer slightly off topic for a bit and have a nerd moment. In 10 years, who knows what this platform could be. Live interaction and streaming are the rage and VR/AR technology is developing rapidly and shifting from purely entertainment to other aspects like health and learning. Will we see Insta-doctors, Insta-lawyers and Insta-teachers in the near future? Okay enough twilight zone but you get the point. The possibilities are endless.
I think it’s time the stigma of being an Instaprofessional stopped and it’s time for everyone to own it. The term “YouTuber” was looked at with some disdain some years ago but that has changed significantly. Apart from remuneration, YouTube actually began to support its content creators, creating workshops, inviting them to internal sessions and giving many opportunities to reach the home page and expose them to new audiences. It worked. YouTubers carry that badge with pride now and for many it is a full-time profession.
This is not to say Instagram has not established relationships with some of its key users but I doubt they’ve explored it in the way they could especially with video content on the rise. So, what are the next steps? Remuneration? Probably not yet. Inclusion? Yes, but to what degree? The structure may not be there now but it is only a matter of time.
Start to wear your Instagram prefix with pride.