In April 2012, Facebook bought Instagram from approximately 1 billion dollars, allowing the site to be run by one of the most powerful online services. This change in power also led to many changes on Instagram, most notably the fact that all users need to have a Facebook profile before signing up to Instagram. The new connection between networks allowed all activity from Instagram to be presented on Facebook, encouraging the spread of social and cultural events, such as dinning to be spread more expansively.
Is an image based social network, Instagram is notorious for a large amount of its users fascination with posting and discussing images food, mostly to the annoyance of their followers. The photo based approach to social networking has made tedious every day events, such as having lunch a common subject for conversation. Users are given the option to check-in to restaurants, cafés and even their own home, promoting these places to their followers. This ability plays a role in profile and identity construction, presenting followers with food and dinning preferences. This option also constructs a community’s cultural identity, spreading local food across the world through the use of social networking.
International traveling allows users to post foreign food experiences. In this week’s reading, Buchanan makes a point that food webs, although initially small in size, through exposure these webs grow in size (Buchanan, 2002), similar to the sharing of food on Instagram, expanding the social food web and allowing cultural diffusion on a larger scale. Follow this hyperlink to see how culture spreads throughout the world, due to diffusion.
Buchanan, M. (2002). Tangled web, in Nexus: small worlds and the culture, geography (pp. 138-155). New York, NY: W.W.