Instagram: Friend or Foe?

I had coffee with a knitting friend this past week and we have an lively discussion of the pros and cons of Instagram as it relates to knitting. I am firmly in the pro camp and she was firmly in the con camp. (Don’t worry we didn’t start jousting with our needles or anything and we are still friends)

My argument:

  • It helps grow and support the fiber arts community
  • I can learn about new techniques or constructions
  • I use it to publicize my blog
  • I get great pattern ideas and yarn ideas
  • It’s short and to the point and I can peruse quickly on hectic days

Her argument:

  • It encourages people who are not photographers to pretend to be said photographers
  • Photos are often so distorted you can tell what the project really looks like
  • It encourages short attention spans
  • It doesn’t have the long term viability like Ravelry and it will most likely die out like all social media platforms

Now I don’t want to start an internet firestorm because she has some good points and so do I. I told her I would pose the question to the blog-o-sphere and see what response we could get. We value all opinions of every shape, size, and color. All thoughts are welcome!

So, what are your thoughts on Instagram and Knitting?

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20 thoughts on “Instagram: Friend or Foe?

  1. I’ve never even thought about using instagram for knitting (or at all, for that matter). Personally I like to keep things simple, so Ravelry and my blog are more than enough. But that’s just me.

  2. I do have an instragram account but only use it sporadically. I can see both sides of the argument but as I have an apathy to it anyway I don’t really have an answer to which side I come down on.

  3. i don’t have instagram (or even own a smartphone) but i love the idea of using it for fiber/blogging! does it have the networking/usefulness of ravelry? or the communication power of an actual blog? no. but i think it is an enormous boon to bloggers, it can help people stay engaged with your work in between blog entries, and it can also give readers a look at your life beyond the fiber aspect.

  4. I love Instagram for it’s (insta)nt gratification, as suggested by it’s name. While I don’t necessarily dedicate my Instagram account solely for knitting projects, I like to intersperse my Instagram shares with other aspects of my life so it’s a great way to bring audiences together that follow you for multiple reasons. And as an amateur photographer, Instagram is great if you don’t have the photo editing skills. It levels the playing field and lets knitters without photography knowledge have decent photos.

    The difference between Instagram, Ravelry, and blogging is in how you use it. Sure, Instagram may die out, but it wasn’t intended just for knitting or crocheting like Ravelry is and you can’t use it to write lengthy posts like blogging. I don’t think you can treat them as mutually exclusive because you can use all of them in combination with each other.

  5. I have Instagram and use it for knitting and seeing what others knit. The whole purpose it to take a quick look at others projects. I mean have you checked out the guy who is creating the largest yarn bomb ever? I agree that is is a great way to get your blog and business out there in a casual way to a far greater audience than just the fiber community. Instagram

  6. I never really understood the appeal of Instagram…in general, not even just for fiber arts. it feels very limiting to stick to a square shape and a few filters. I’m not even close to a good photographer, but I do like to spend time on Photoshop straightening, cropping, and generally cleaning up my pics so they look more like they should have to begin with…and that generally takes a lot more than a quick filter. Plus, I almost never end up with a perfectly square image.

    As far as browsing, if I want to browse projects or just want a bit of eye candy, I go to Ravelry or Pinterest. There is so much more depth of information available at those sites, but both are also great for just looking at pictures if that’s what I want.

  7. I have an Instagram account but really have not put it to use. I can say that it is a great platform for instant gratification and sharing. Some photos could be better, but it’s a learning curve.

  8. What an interesting discussion!

    I actually love Instagram. Primarily I write on my blog, but I don’t have time to do so everyday so I use Instagram to share a quick snapshot on my ‘quiet’ days. I appreciate the quick & dirty photo editing it provides, especially since these photos are never in the best lighting situations.

    I definitely use it to promote my blog as well as connect with readers. I have found tagging on Instagram for the KAL I am hosting has been really fun, too, and makes it easy to flip through project images.

    I would also argue that a photographer is anyone who takes photos. And I think it is great that Instagram and digital photography in general offers editing that lets more people take good photos. You will always be able to tell the difference between the quality of my real camera and my Instagram photos just as a professional will always know more tricks than I will. And when it comes to those hard to see photos – I just don’t follow instagrammers who take bad photos. Lol! Simple!

  9. I like Instagram a lot. I think it’s role is to pique interest, and the role of forums like ravelry or a blog are to instruct and depict objects accurately. My prettiest pics are on Instagram, and all the good info is on my blog.

  10. I’ve only just started using Instagram. It’s cute. I like posting a quick pic, but the real stuff will end up being blog fodder. I like it for a quick perusal of the pretty! Not organized at all. I don’t do much with my Pinterest account; it feels like too much work. Instagram is easy.

  11. I agree with you. I pretty much suck at photography, but that shouldn’t matter on Instagram. Whilst I appreciate the artistry that a ‘pro’ can bring to it, photography isn’t split into those who can and those who can’t surely? It’s a spectrum, and a little snobbish to suggest otherwise. Yes, it hardly encourages attention span, but that’s the modern world in general. Besides, our knitting takes care of skill development in that area. of skill

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