Instagram may be known as the most popular photo sharing service, but the company is looking to appeal to both sound and vision sharers with the newly launched @Music community, which caters to musicians and music fans. It’s the first time Instagram has launched an account devoted to a particular topic.
“Each week, we’ll take a look at the musical experience on Instagram,” says Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, in a blog post. “That means showing you a different side of artists you know and love.” Along with promoting well-known musicians, Systrom says @Music will focus on up-and-coming ones as well. The first act featured on @Music is Questlove.
When it comes to music, Roots drummer and “Tonight Show” bandleader Questlove (@questlove) is all about the highs and lows. Take DJing, for instance. Give the crowd too many hits and you’ll numb them into the ground; too many non-jams and you’ll drive them off the dance floor. “When I first started, I was just desperate,” he says about the lack of pacing in his shows. “I was like, this is a hit, this is a hit, this is a hit. And you get addicted to the adrenaline rush of, ‘OH MY GOD THIS IS MY SONG.’ You kill them so much. I realized that now I am more obsessed with the opposite. I will put a bad song on and actually watch them filter out the floor. And I will wait two minutes [then play] ‘Uptown Funk’ –– ‘OH MY GOD IT’S MY SONG’ –– and then the scream is bigger than before. –Instagram @music Photo by @questlove
Many popular artists already have Instagram accounts. At one point, pop singer Justin Bieber was the most-followed user on Instagram, until he was dethroned by Kim Kardashian in late 2014. Bieber currently ranks seventh, according to Socialblade’s Top 100 Instagram Profiles, when filtered by most followed. Meanwhile, R&B artist Beyonce now has the top spot not only among musicians, but also overall.
So even before the creation of @Music, musicians have been heavy Instagram users. Naturally, the new service could give them a greater boost.
Instagram won’t only cater to musicians and their fans. The community will highlight music photographers, album illustrators, and instrument makers as well. Systrom also encourages musicians and fans to take an active role in the new music-based community. “In the Instagram tradition, we will also welcome community participation with a new, music-themed monthly hashtag project,” he says.
According to TechCrunch, some of these hashtags include #LocallySourced, which will cover unsigned acts; #DoubleTrack, which will explore what artists do in their personal lives when they’re not making music; and #15SecondLessons, which will help aspiring musicians perfect their craft.
“Music is a huge part of all of our lives here at Instagram,” Systrom says. “It’s a passion of ours, and we know it’s a passion of yours. So follow along at @Music — we think you’ll discover something new.”
The idea to blend social media and music is not a new one, of course. MySpace teamed up with Interscope to create MySpace Records in late 2005 in order to find unsigned talent, and YouTube is also known as a launching pad for artists. Some popular musicians that emerged from social media include Adele and Bieber himself.