A few days ago, Apple finally launched its long-awaited Instagram account.

No-one quite knew what to expect, but this sudden move has got people talking. Here, we’re discussing user-generated content, clever marketing and potential hints at the new iPhone launch.

What’s it all about?

This is how it goes: you take a photo on your iPhone, upload your majestic artwork to Instagram and add the hashtag ‘#ShotoniPhone’.
Apple’s digital marketing team will then browse the hashtag – which is a nice extension from its previous ad campaign – and select their favourites to feature on the Instagram account. Sounds great, right? Well, it’s great for exposing budding iPhone photographers. Thankfully, Apple do tag the creator in the post, which is sure to boost their follower count. However, there have been complaints. Surely the powerful, cultural force that is Apple could have put their creative energy into producing their own content?

That said, it does look pretty nice. It certainly shows the power of Apple, and the capability of the iPhone camera. As it stands, Apple have over 450k followers. Not a bad start. The account effectively utilises the gallery feature, presenting five users per post. They’re active on the Stories feature too, which is undeniably a massively popular part of the app right now. The procedure remains the same here: they’re also featuring hand-picked photos from Instagram users. Have another read of one of our previous blog posts to brush up on your knowledge about Stories.

What’s behind it?

There are speculations that this move could come at a handy time – just before the announcement of the iPhone 8. This was certainly the case with the run-up to the iPhone 7 launch, which saw Apple truly embracing Twitter for the first time with regular ads. With 700 million monthly users, Instagram is an invaluable source of potential buyers for any brand – even Apple. No matter what you think of the move, no-one can deny it’s a great low-cost marketing tool.

Check out this post on the power of encouraging user-generated content on Instagram, and how you can use it to market your own products.

Emma Aldington

As Limely’s newest member of the team, Emma joined in August ’17. Emma is fresh out of uni with a degree in English Language, and plenty of experience in blogging. She is our resident content writer and social media wizard.