Monday, November 5, 2012

#Instacane: Instagram's role in Hurricane Sandy

Picture via Mashable

Hurricane Sandy brought destruction and devastation to millions of people along the East Coast. The aftermath of the storm is still being felt by many and will unfortunately affect people for awhile. Being that I am in Italy, I have not seen the damage in person, but have heard from both my family and friends that the storm was monumental and unlike anything they have ever seen before in the area. Additionally, I have been kept up to date on the storm through the usage of Instagram. From the sight of the very first dark cloud in the distance, I have had access to coverage of the storm through people I follow or the browsing of hashtags.

According to Mashable, Instagram was the main social media outlet people used to share their pictures of the storm. It was approximated that about ten were sent per second. These pictures were used by CNN, Time Magazine, and other major media outlets in order to display the intensity of the powerful storm to the general public. It was calculated that by noon on October 30, over 300,000 photos were posted with the #sandy hashtag, 144,000 with the #hurricanesandy hashtag, and 23,000 with the #frankenstorm hashtag.

Also notable was the hiring of five professional photographers by Time Magazine solely to take pictures of the storm and post them to Instagram. Time even decided to use an Instagram photo as their picture for the "Hurricane Sandy" cover

Instagram's place in this natural disaster was obviously tremendous. This seemingly simple social media app has proved itself to be a force to be reckoned with. It is not only easy to use, but emerged just as people became infatuated with the visual-social trend. Instagram remains a vital tool in the distribution of information and has proven to be beneficial to both professionals and regular people who wish to remain up to date on the latest world news.

To read the full Mashable article, click here.

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