Adding Instagram to Your PR Mix? That’s the $1 Billion Question

When Facebook announced Monday, April 9, that it had acquired photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion, Instagram’s founders—Stanford grads Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger—became very rich young men. The acquisition that has put Instagram in the spotlight also begs a question for PR pros: How rich is the app when leveraged in communications programs?

Quite possibly as rich as Pinterest is becoming for brands. Like Pinterest, Instagram’s appeal is visual, and photos appear to be the communications vehicle du jour in social media.

“It’s no longer ‘tell me a story,’ it’s ‘show me a story,’” says Donetta Allen, VP and social media practice leader at Hunter PR. “People want to have an instant emotional connection that only a photo can give,” she says.

MOBILE SIGNIFICANCE

But the significance of Instagram isn’t just that it’s a visual platform. Instagram is an app for iPhones and the Android operating system, meaning mobile is front and center for PR outreach. There is no central Web destination as the anchor. So for many communicators who haven’t ventured into mobile waters, Instagram may be that point of entry.

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