Social media has recently emerged and heightened during weather related issues and natural disasters. Many social media mediums such as Twitter, Facebook, and You Tube were responsible for the ongoing and mass pictoral updates to the public. These mediums were especially prevalent during the occurances of Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami in Indonesia, and the earthquake in Haiti.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the United States, another Social Media company had truly emerged and was used widely. This social channel is Instagram. It is a popular medium where people have been using pictures of the hurricane to share with others. The rate of pictures was approximately 10 clips per second. Not only was it helpful for the general public, but it was also the main source of images for Time magazine, CNN, and other news channels and media outlets.
On October 30th, by 12:00pm noontime, more than 300,000 pictures were shared on Instagram, using the hashtag #Sandy. Additionally, the hashtag #frankenstorm was used by 23,000 users, and 144,000 people also used the tag #hurricanesandy. Instagram founder Kevin Systrom stated that there are 10 frames per second appearing with the hashtag #Sandy.
Separately, during a prior disaster known as hurricane Irene, Facebook and the New York Times worked together and created “Instacane”. Instacane then came back and heightened when Sandy struck.
From a personal perspective, I was able to keep updated with my family and friends who were affected by the hurricane, in the tri-state area. I ascertained when friends and family had no electricity or had floods, and those that needed help. Instagram also provided updates on volunteer sites, for those in need. Instagram has become a very good medium to share pictures and news, especially during natural disasters.