With over 1 billion users as of 2018, Instagram has emerged as one of the most influential social media platforms today. Whether you’re an influencer, company, sponsored blogger, celebrity, or a regular person, we all manage to find our way onto the platform, sharing videos and photos. Over the years, many have mocked the notion of Instagram filters, believing that by using them, you are carefully showcasing a particular aesthetic while hiding honest, unfiltered documentation of one’s day-to-day life. And while that is one way to look at the idea of Instagram, it completely overlooks the fact that Instagram has developed into an art over the years.
What exactly makes a good Instagram account? Aesthetics.
The most successful instagrammers today rake in followers by the dozens because they simply know what content to create and what will enhance the overall look of their Instagram. Contrary to what many believe, a lot actually goes into producing an Instagram post. As people, we crave meaning and answers; we look for themes, and we enjoy continuity. Hence, why, to us, an Instagram aesthetic goes far beyond merely “throwing on a filter.”
Content creation on Instagram is a process that involves one actively sifting through different photos and videos to decide what would look good on their feed, and making the adjustments to produce a perfectly polished piece of work. Aesthetics can be anything: Picking a primary color, using the same filter, or even posting content within the same context, such as regularly posting your outfit of the day (#ootd) or posting photos when you are traveling.
The goal is to create an aesthetically-pleasing work that coincides with a consistent Instagram feed and your brand.
In fact, when you create an Instagram, you are establishing your own personal brand—whether you actually mean to do it or not. We all have our own personal brand: messages we wish to convey, particular images we gravitate towards, and/or certain color palettes that we enjoy more than others. An aesthetic is essentially part of one’s brand.