Barely 18 months old, Instagram stole headlines with Facebook’s costly acquisition
. Now, with over 50 million registered users
and roughly five million more joining each week, the photo-sharing startup is here to stay. Tapping into this relatively new audience, digital platforms, brands and music personalities are creating contests around the visual social network, elevating everyday mobile phone photographers into art stars.
Perfect for the photographer with a competitive spirit, new website InstaDerby
challenges Instagram users to photograph and submit artistic images based on a weekly theme. From “chicken
” to “robot
” to this week’s “blue,” contestants snap their interpretation of the assignment, upload the photo, and then hashtag it. Entrants must then accumulate as many votes as possible by sharing the pic with their Instagram network, family and friends. The “Top 100 Stallions,” or photographers with the most votes, are featured on the InstaDerby homepage and leaderboard
, and the winning Stallion is awarded an Instagram-themed prize like credits towards sites such as StickyGram
#WDESIGN: Instagram NYC
and New York’s W Hotel
partnered to host the city’s first ever Instagram photography show, "WDESIGN: An Instagram Exhibition
.” Six participating Instagrammers were chosen for work that uniquely captured “the different elements of New York City: architecture, street art, patterns, and design,” as explained by Instagram NYC founder Brian DiFeo
. Meanwhile, anyone could submit a photo with the hashtag #WDESIGN for a chance to have their city portraits shown in the exhibition. Even those who didn’t make it were entered into a contest, in which the grand prize was a two-night stay at the W in Times Square—a location seemingly made for ’gramming.