Instagram is an iOS-exclusive app that launched in 2010, allowing users to snap photos with their iOS-device’s built-in camera and post it online to a variety of social networks.
On its face, that description sounds pretty much par the course for the built in iPhotos application, but Instagram has become exceedingly popular in its short lifespan — drawing a user-base of 13 million in its first 13 months, as VentureBeat reported in November — due to the fact that it offers quirky, old-school virtual filters that users can easily apply to make their photos look vintage or purposefully artistic, hence the mass adoption by hipsters. Instagram has also apparently taken the lead over a competitor app, Hipstamatic, in part because it is free.
The first photo posted online by the President’s campaign team was a “behind the scenes” shot of the President giving his televised address to Iowa voters ahead of the January 3rd caucus, rendered under Instagram’s “Hefe” filter.
“We’re excited to welcome President Barack Obama to Instagram!” the company wrote on their Tumblr blog on Wednesday morning. “We look forward to seeing how President Obama uses Instagram to give folks a visual sense of what happens in the everyday life of the President of the United States. In addition to sharing photos through the @barackobama Instagram account, the Obama 2012 staff is asking supporters to share their photos from the campaign trail with the tag #obama2012.”
But while Instagram’s skeleton staff is clearly pleased to be getting the extra attention, and corresponding downloads bump, as a result of the President’s participation, Instagram users aren’t nearly so pleased about their new, politically-savvy fellow photographer, or at least the President’s latest policy moves.
In fact, they’ve taken to voicing their complaints loudly in the comments below the President’s first two Instagram photos.
“Is that a picture of you signing away our rights? I hope they lock your ass up on terrorism when you leave office,” one agitated commentator wrote.
“We, the people, disapprove the NDAA,” another wrote, with others chiming in against the National Defense Authorization Act that President Obama signed into law on Saturday, despite noting he had “serious reservations” over provisions allowing for the indefinite detention of terror suspects and the use of so-called “advanced interrogation” techniques.
It’s unclear if Instagram allows comments moderation by selected high-profile users such as the President. We’ve reached out to the company for more information and will update when we receive a response.
That said, even if given the tools to moderate such nasty commentary, it isn’t clear the President’s team would use it anyway. See the President’s Facebook page for an exhibit in the laissez-faire commentating moderation approach that his team has generally taken toward social media interaction.
Still, it is clear that the President’s latest social media outreach isn’t quite picture perfect.