Apple unveils Instagram account ahead of iPhone 8

Welcome @apple to Instagram.

The tech giant officially opened an account Monday, which it’s using to show off photos taken on the iPhone—essentially a social media version of its “Shot on iPhone” ad campaign. Instead of simply posting images, Apple is using video galleries with dialog from photographers to share multiple photos at a time and give context to each shot. This also allows it to feature five different curators in one post. Apple doesn’t take any of the images itself.

#ShotoniPhone by… - 1. Paul O. @pauloctavious “I’ve just always been attracted to rainbows. It’s like magic. But now that I know how rainbows are made, it’s like I’m performing my own magic.” - 2. Tyrone P. @robotfaced “I’ve actually found two or three, or let’s say two and a half, species of chameleons that are not officially known to science. You can’t look in a text book or a field guide and find these animals. There’s simply not enough known about them.” - 3. Jirasak P @joez19 “I live in a small town and own a small trucking fleet in Thailand. I am not a professional photographer.” - 4. Jenn Z. @thesdcowgirl “I feel claustrophobic when I go to the city now. You get so used to being able to see for miles. I call it cowgirl church.” - 5. Yais Y. @_yaisyusman_ “I call the series The Hanging Collection. It's simply creating an illusion of a person hanging.”

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Apple says its new account is meant to provide a “look through the lens of iPhone users around the world.” That’s more than 700 million different cameras going by estimate from BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long.

Speaking of incredible statistics, the @apple account already has more than 140,000 followers after just nine posts, gaining more than 40,000 in less than two hours. The company is encouraging its entourage to add to the collection of iPhone photos using #ShotoniPhone. The tag is already nearing in on 1 million posts.

Apple isn’t new to social media, though we aren’t convinced it knows what to do with it. The @Apple Twitter account has teasingly existed since 2011, but hasn’t posted a single tweet. It did wake up from its dormant state a week before the release of the new MacBook last September, but only to change its profile picture and send out a single promoted post.

Now Apple has a booming platform of more than 700 million to show off one of its best smartphone features just a month or so before the release of the iPhone 8. The new account seems like a smart way to organically transition its popular ad campaign into internet culture using one of the largest social media apps in the world. Instead of posting product shots with nauseating buzzword-filled descriptions, Apple is relying on people who already use the iPhone to share photos of cats and food to their followers. It’s subtle, but could be an effective way to quietly integrate its brand into millions of Insta posts. It could also serve as an easy way for people to see the real-world capabilities of its phone cameras.

The Cupertino, California, giant already operates multiple accounts for its many services, including Apple Music, iTunes, Beats 1, iBooks, Carpool Karaoke, and Planet of the Apps. It’s not clear what caused the delay for Apple’s main account, but it may have something to do with its long-running beef with Android. As the Verge points out, Apple’s Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller deleted his Instagram account in 2012 after it launched on Android. He later said his decision didn’t have anything to do with the rival OS, and that he simply felt the app was getting too big.

Whatever the case, Apple is now going full-speed ahead on the Facebook-owned social media platform. Here are a few of our favorite posts from @apple’s inaugural batch:

#ShotoniPhone by… - 1. Mirabai M. @mirafilm “Beekeeping is incredibly addictive. Once you start, it’s very hard to stop. I think I’ll probably be a beekeeper for the rest of my life.” - 2. Jeremy S. @jeremysnell “I do show people the photos I take of them. A lot of these people have never really had their picture taken before, so this is really special to them. I think it opens people up in a new way, when they are able to see themselves in an image.” - 3. Daniil S. @daniil “I want to show the backstage - we’re surrounded by so much beauty that we take for granted. For us it’s so common. We don’t see the beauty anymore.” - 4. Marcelo N. @marcelonava “I like to walk, exploring a city, knowing every little space within the world.” - 5. Dave S. @davesandford “An adrenaline rush? Quite the opposite actually. I find swimming with sharks to be very peaceful.”

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#ShotoniPhone by… - 1. Dawn D. @dawn_denfeld “When I was diagnosed with degenerative spinal arthritis, I needed to find a hobby that didn't require a lot of walking. Now, I love to capture water drop refractions and reflections on flowers, dandelions, and cobwebs that I gather from my garden.” - 2. Chinami M. @1000wave “My grandmother is constantly laughing whenever we shoot photos and I always enjoy seeing her smile. I’m just a greedy grandchild, hoping to squeeze as many smiles as I can.” - 3. Kevin R. @kevinruss “The sounds at this chapel were unlike any sounds I was hearing anywhere else. So I added sound to the photo just to have people feel what I felt.” - 4. John D. @abstractconformity "As captain of a ship, I go around the world. At times, we’ve gotten voyage instructions from the office and literally had to go get an atlas off the shelf cause we’re like, ‘Where in the world is this?’”

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#ShotoniPhone by… - 1. Ryan P. @ryanpernofski "I think it’s normal to have fears of a monster that swims around. But I guess the percentage of getting eaten by a shark is so small. I think if it happens, as long as I get a photo of it, I’ll be OK.” - 2. Caitlin R. & Derek E. @itsmoosethepug “We are really big pug fans.” - 3. Reuben W. @itsreuben “I just like to have a feeling of discovering something new, even though I’m not actually discovering something new. Everything has been discovered now.” - 4. Noora A. @nooora91 “I love the view of a model going forward. It gives me a sense of strength in going forward fearlessly.” - 5. Hannah R. @subwayhands "The subway is a funny place. You’re on it every day, but always with different people. So there’s this weird familiarity and also a little bit of guardedness.”

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H/T the Verge

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.