Instagram’s Most Popular Posts Are Awful Garbage, But That’s Not a Good Reason to Condemn The Service

Instagram’s Most Popular Posts Are Awful Garbage, But That’s Not a Good Reason to Condemn The Service

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Instagram is currently in the midst of celebrating an anniversary. In just a few years, it has gone from a fledgeling startup app to one of the most prominent forces in the mainstream photography world.

As an ode to the service, several blogs have been posting the most popular images uploaded over the course of the company’s history. In short: all the most popular photos are poppy celebrity garbage, that use the Andy Warhol principle of photography in which the best photos are “in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.”

Using that information, it’s easy to see a picture of Justin Bieber and Will Smith staring dead-eyed into a smartphone camera racking up millions of likes and say, “Instagram is stupid.” If that’s how you’re going to use Instagram, then you’re right, it’s stupid. But, there’s a lot more to be found on Instagram and if you’re letting the trite celebrity nonsense get in the way of it, that’s on you.

A few months back, Instagram made some rather significant changes to the way the Explore tab works in the app. Previously, accidentally clicking into that tab was painful. It was populated with just a few images, most of which would inevitably fulfill the dreaded Instagram cliches, like photos of coffee or a selfie taken by a doe-eyed teen who “woke up like this.”

Now, the Explore tab is much more robust. Of course, there’s still plenty of cliche nonsense to be found, but it’s also much easier to stumble across someone who is actually talented when it comes to making pictures.

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