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First Ever Instagram-specific TV Series

15 seconds of fame

Instagram’s video service launched a year ago, projecting the image sharing app from the traditional ‘stills’ to walking-talking ‘movies’.

Now a group of film graduates have created the first ever Instagram-specific TV series.Artistically Challenged’ is a new web series composed of 15 super-short episodes so far, with the film makers hoping for a further 16, one for each day of July.

The series follows the woes and mishaps of Nick, a New York artist who suddenly strikes gold with a cheeky white lie. Ridiculing the city's pretentious art scene is an easy dig to go for, but it works on a surprisingly humorous level.

Fans are keen to point out that, despite the 15 second restrictions of an Instagram video, the amount of work and production that has gone into each episode is on a par with regular TV and film. Critics however fear it is another insignia of our decreasing attention spans. 

The series has come about due to the efforts of 25 volunteer crew members and a cast of over 30. Blog posts share the creative process with behind the scenes photos, encouraging fans to like the posts in order to release unseen footage and deleted scenes.

Every second counts, as the storyline demands simplicity in order to cram as much as possible into the miniscule time frame. It’s certainly experimental, but is it gripping enough to keep viewers watching?

This isn’t the only change that Instagram has undergone recently; in March, Omnicom and Instagram agreed a year-long advertising partnership estimated to be worth $40 million, in which Omnicom secured advertising space for its clients such as Nissan and Pepsi. The move is indicative of the way in which digital and social media is cutting away at the clout of traditional advertising spaces owned by old media. 

Instagram, owned by Facebook, garnered 150 million users twice as quickly as Twitter and is now the most profitable asset in the company’s portfolio, only set to increase in value. Furthermore, many experts are indicating that Instagram could act as Facebook’s Trojan horse into the Chinese market where censorship is notoriously strict.

The debate over whether big business advertising is likely to ruin the ‘soul’ of a once-free and personal app is nothing new, but at least Instagram, and its users, is more accustomed to the advertising model.Unlike on Facebook and Twitter, where ads are cumbersome and invasive and don’t fit with the notion of communicating with friends, Instagram is visual. As an image-based service, the nature of adverts will slip seamlessly into users scrolling feed. 

For now, enjoy 'Artistically Challenged' via Instagram, and you never know, the next Breaking Bad could well be conceived through the minds of social media users.

Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

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First Ever Instagram-specific TV Series Reviewed by Anonymous on Friday, July 11, 2014 Rating: 5
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