People are posting a ridiculous amount of images of Hurricane Sandy and its effects on Instagram. Users are posting ten pics to the hashtag #sandy every second. That's according to the CEO of the company, who is quoted by Poynter as saying:
“There are now 10 pictures per second being posted with the hashtag #sandy — most are images of people prepping for the storm and images of scenes outdoors.”
All you have to do is look at the hashtag, and you can see the tremendous amount of contributions. While the number will obviously be higher by the time you see this article, there are 226,019 photos for #sandy as of the time of this writing. There are 132,349 photos for #hurricanesandy. There are 26,612 for #frankenstorm.
Instagram highlights some good ones on its blog.
Of course Instagram isn't the only place people are posting photos. You can easily go to Twitter or Facebook and find plenty. Here's one of the crane dangling from a building that Donald Trump posted to Facebook.
It's nothing new for news to visually unfold on social media, but these numbers from Instagram seem to suggest a trend we might see escalate going forward - instagram as a major force in citizen journalism. Sarah Lacy at PandoDaily has already discussed the topic today.
"Hurricane Sandy — or Frankenstorm Apocalpyse as it’s being called on Foursquare — could be Instagram’s big citizen journalism moment," she writes. "The time when the seemingly frivolous app could get some Arab Spring-style gravitas. Just like the last three Presidential elections have been transformed by a new social media service — YouTube, Facebook and now Twitter — natural disasters and tragedies are emerging as a way for social media services to gain respect and legitimacy as world-changing agents as well."
"In theory, Instagram has Twitter’s immediacy, and a broader reach, since it pushes notices out via Twitter, Facebook, Instgram’s own network, and email," she adds. "Clearly images are the best way to tell a story like this, and Instagram’s whole raison d’être is to make people better photographers. Add to that the storm’s target on urban, hipster, we’re-not-scared New Yorkers, and the time seems as good as any for the revolution to be Instagrammed."
I imagine we'll be seeing quite a few Instagram pics from a certain election before long.
Instagram was probably not a bad acquisition on Facebook's part. It even turned out to be millions of dollars less than the originally-reported $1 billion.