Is Instagram the New Stock Photography?

How exactly are consumers using Instagram?

According to the new stop-motion short film Instantáneas, if you guessed bikini-clad babes and stock image-esque photography, you would be correct.

The film, using hundreds of Instagram images, chronicles a journey laced with romanticism and the human experience, highlighting everything from a first kiss and a couple’s first child to vacationing on a sandy beach in a far-away destination.

While many may see the production as a glorified American Apparel advertisement, filmmaker Lucas Otero claims all the photos are real and found as part of his Instagram research.

More importantly, this collection of Instagram photos highlights a key component of the Instagram app, recently bought by Facebook: users are taking photos of themselves, but what else?

Can brands rely on users to promote their products via this medium, or will marketers have to accept the narcissistic qualities of this photo app and build programs around this principle?

Brands like Kate Spade New York are already answering this question through initiatives on Pinterest. Picking themes such as color, the brand uses images of all kinds – people, scenery, art, etc. – to further the theme.

Their Pinterest boards include Dress Colorfully, Travel Colorfully, Charm Colorfully, just to name a few, and all map back to the core mission and sensibilities of Kate Spade. Kate Spade has dramatically grown its followers and seems to have found a photo formula that works within their larger marketing strategy.

We love it when brands find innovative new ways to market themselves and Instagram is one example to keep an eye on.