Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures Book Review
Starting life under the name of Burbn as a check-in app to help users share details of the best bourbon locations in 2010, Instagram has risen to become one of the world’s top social media platforms (Leaver, Highfield & Abidin 2020, 9), synonymous with selfies, self-representation, and all things aesthetic. Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures by Tama Leaver, Tim Highfield, and Crystal Abidin is the first book length exploration of the popular platform, exploring how its evolution has influenced the cultures and communities that live there. The authors argue that Instagram is “a conduit for communication” where “the visual focus is particularly important in the success and relevance of the platform” (2020, 1). In exploring how the app has been shaped by and shaped the behaviour of its users across its history, Leaver, Highfield, and Abidin demonstrate the importance of Instagram as a form of visual social media and a platform for human connection.