Top blogger Murad Osmann: will Instagram destroy itself?
Creator of the famous #followmeto argues about the future popular photo-sharing app
At the beginning of February, it became known that Instagram users will soon be able to post several photos and videos in one album. Even if the official date of the release of Albums has not been named, foreign experts, including Mashable's editor Pete Pachal, started to worry and claim this function will literally destroy Instagram. Realnoe Vremya reached out to one of the most popular Instagram accounts, the creator of the worldwide known #followmeto hashtag Murad Osmann who shared his opinion about the next upgrade of the social network and told whether Instagram will die.
''There is a simple way – to unfollow and follow those who really inspire''
Murad, have you heard about the new function on Instagram that is Albums? What do you think about the next novelty?
We have. We like new ideas. We are always one of the first people to test new functions because are on Instagram influencers list. In general, it is important to note that everything new is always rejected. For instance, we have being annually told for 5 years that our project FollowMeTo will lose popularity, but we continue existing and growing.
Instagram has a very strong team of professionals, they constantly monitor trends of other networks, analyse and borrow the best things. At first it seemed to everyone that Instagram stories would kill the gimmick of the photo-sharing application. But, no, they caught on and became a good tool to promote brands and people, allowed to show life here and now, without filters and adornments.
Some foreign experts are sure that implementing this function, Instagram literally buries itself losing its oneness like Albums change the whole ideology of Instagram where a user posts just one perfect photo, not tens of so-so.
The thing is that there isn't one perfect photo, there are many. Instagram projects leave much outside our vision because there are not suitable resources to show more. We know it first-hand: every trip leaves tens of beautiful and bright photos that we want to share but we don't want to overload the followers. We will see, test and then make conclusions. As it seems to us, one should accept novelties and learn how to use them to the max as quick as possible instead of constant criticism. In our era, something is invented every day. One needs to learn how to accept and optimise novelties.
With the advent of the new function, users will start overloading the news feed with tens of birthday, holiday, wedding and other photos. It is one of the arguments of the ''sufferers''. What about the flow of identical photos now before the arrival of Albums to the app?
From the point of view of Instagram, it is a perfectly understandable step. As any other network, Instagram tries to attract different users. For somebody, such functions are a guarantee of a usual use of social networks. Probably Instagram will be able to attract a new layer of fans with this functions. As for those who don't want to see routine photos, there is a simple way – to unfollow and follow those who really inspire.
Every trip leaves tens of beautiful and bright photos that we want to share but we don't want to overload the followers
''Instagram won't die. It is likely to constantly transform into something more modern''
What do you think about Instagram's regular new functions in the recent time? Is it a loss of itself, or is it normal development process?
It is an ideal development process. If you don't upgrade, the audience will lose its interest in you. Novelties are a good reason for news. Do you ignore new functions, or do you actively use them? We love experiments, we actively and timely use all novelties to be on the crest of the wave and not to lose the attention of the audience.
Is this function popular, in your opinion? Would you like to use it yourself?
Yes, it won't become popular immediately, but it will certainly do. For us as a photo and video project about travels, it is a topical tool. We can lift the veil of travels and interesting locations more.
Murad, could you tell us when Instagram dies? Is it doomed to death in general?
It won't die. It is likely to constantly transform into something more modern. It is a gigantic and strong network the best minds of the world are working for now. In the modern world, everything becomes digital. Something does it faster, something — slower. But it is an inevitable technology development process.
''A series of photos appeared in the foreign media Daily Mail, BuzzFeed. It came out of the blue''
I also want to ask you what you do when you created your famous account on Instagram. What was it dedicated to at first?
I was born in Dagestan, and Natasha (Natalia Osmann is my wife and muse all in one. We founded the project, develop and care about it together) – in Potsdam (Germany). I have been living in Moscow since I was 5. Natasha moved a lot when she was a kid. This is why she loves endless flights. I created an account a long time ago when Instagram was just born. We just had personal accounts. We told about work, holiday and everyday life like the majority of the users.
In general, the project Follow Me To began 6 years ago due to an accidental photo in Barcelona during our first romantic trip. Natasha pulled my hand during a walk, and I took a pic. Having looked at the photo, we thought there was something in it. As a result, #FollowMeTo is a photo about love for the world, people and each other. We continued the series of photos from different places, travelled on holidays and at weekends, took photos even in IKEA when we did not manage to go anywhere. Everything was as simple as possible: we liked the project considering it our hobby. At a moment, people started to tell they were bored of us and that we needed to make up something new. Nobody knew about Follow Me To 1,5 years ago except our parents and friends. Then a series of photos appeared in foreign media Daily Mail, BuzzFeed. It came out of the blue. Then followers started to appear on Instagram at an incredible pace.
#FollowMeTo is a photo about love for the world, people and each other
Did you expect that this hashtag and the format of photos would become a mainstream? How is your success explained?
No, we did not expect and did not make any project for success. People just helped, they liked it. At that moment, we could not stop and continued shooting new places telling the world about them.
The success is likely to be explained by the love of people for travels. In the era of modern technologies, people want to catch that piece of beauty, inspiration, love. Now travels have had an especial value because at the moment we can touch the history, lodge the nature in the memory, we must do it. People visit our accounts for inspiration and new places. We are a kind of atlas of beautiful places at different points of the globe.
How many cities and countries did you manage to shoot #followmeto in?
I have never counted it! We have visited almost all Europe. We were in many American states, in almost all Asian capitals. Last year, we were on Kamchatka, Baikal, in Kazan, shot a video about Saint Petersburg. We are just back from Cuba, the atmosphere there is incredible. In general, the more you travel, the more you feel how little you have seen.