I can guarantee at least one photo taken within the last week on your Instagram account was of a delicious meal or fancy drink. Why are we so obsessed with this app and taking photos of food? Plus, a 2012 infographic of Instagram stats. Written by Juliet Rocco
“Stop playing with your food and eat it!” Back in the day, we used to get reprimanded about playing with food we didn’t particularly like, or in my case just throw it on the floor (I grew out of that phase). As we got older, it turned into texting at the dinner table. Now we have to pause before we eat, not to pray, but to take a photo and show 687 of our closest friends what we’re ingesting for the evening.
I’ll be honest, I downloaded the app when it came out for Android but hardly use it. It’s fun to put filters over photos, I get it, but what is this obsession about food?
Sharing is Caring Theory: This theory of sharing goes back to my post about Easter dinner with my family and everyone playing with their smartphones. We as humans have a natural tendency to want to share…everything. And why wouldn’t your friends want to see a juicy burger with an ice cold beer on the side, beautified further with a sunny-looking filter?
It seems to be the norm for people who want to share their meals in a digital way now. It’s also great for restaurants and chains to gain notoriety for their dishes and new menu items. A person who is hyped up enough about a burger to take a photo and post it probably has other friends who will want to go out and eat after seeing it too. A single photo can start a chain reaction of hunger.
How involved are users of this app? Check out this infographic
Branding: This is where branding and packaging comes into play. Logos should be able to be seen on the paper wrapping, cardboard containers, and even ceramic plates no matter how the consumer is snapping the photo.
If you’re at a white tablecloth kind of place, there’s also the option of tagging a location with it. What better way to share that delicious-looking chicken fettuccine alfredo than to snap a photo and tag the restaurant in the post?
Drawbacks: Of course, there could be cons to this in the restaurant biz as well. We all get a dish that goes horribly wrong sometimes or find something that shouldn’t be in there.
This can potentially send waves of negativity throughout multiple user networks. It is even more important to take extra precautions and be aware that your latest ‘creation’ could possibly end up online whether you want it to or not. Damage control plans that are adjusted to social media are a must these days!
Takeaway: Think about what you’re snapping a photo of next time and see how friends react after you post it. If you work in a restaurant or chain, think about how good it had better look once it gets set in front of that customer, because they may be about to share it with thousands of people! No pressure or anything.