Instagram is responsible for more photo products and services than we know what to do with: you can turn your instant-hipster images into iPhone cases, aluminum wall art, calendars – but now you can make money off of it.
Well not you necessarily, but some people. Hashpix is a new service that takes popular Instagram users’ work and puts a price on it, and at launch it’s collaborating with 12 photographers. Founder Jason Culbertson says they “looked for the best photographers based upon fans and style” for the initial debut.
“I felt like photographers deserved to be able to make money from creating this new medium of art,” he tells us. Hashpix prints the high res photos in three different sizes: 5x5s are $20, 8x10s $22, and 10x10s $24.
Whether you think Instagram is turning users into faux-tographers or injecting new life into stale camera phone photos, the filter-happy platform has created a loyal and active bunch: it has hit 25 million users and the rate of sharing is skyrocketing right along with that number. Whatever your opinion, you have to acknowledge its pervasiveness.
This has given rise to famed Instagram photographers, whose work often goes viral and quickly passed around the platform – and then the rest of the Web. And now Hashpix will give them a way to leverage this influence. It’s an exclusive program, however, so don’t think that your handful of followers will elevate you to Hashpix Artist status. Culbertson says Hashpix hopes to pick the next round of photographers in the coming month. “[We] will select based upon artistic ability and number of people engaging with them, as we want to be able to reach a large fan base,” he says. Hopefuls likely need a minimum of 30k fans, although those with fewer followers aren’t out of the running.
The response has been huge, with over 700 Instagram users applying within the site’s first 24 hours. Up until this point, the platform has been sort of self-indulgent: most products were focused on giving you a new way to enjoy your own work (of course you could have grabbed another user’s photos – there’s nothing to stop you from doing this). We’re not entirely convinced many people will pay for other users’ Instagrams, but there’s some sense in giving credit where credit is due. And there’s no denying that what people have been able to create with what’s essentially a very simple app is incredible.