Instagram Emerges During Hurricane Sandy

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. from_Sandy_a_major_social_media_13072.aspx



2 thoughts on “Instagram Emerges During Hurricane Sandy

  1. Citizen journalism and photography is becoming a pretty amazing thing. The news outlets can’t be everywhere and as mentioned in the article they seem to be pulling information given or shot by normal people on a daily basis. If we polled our class through personal phones or work phones probably 90%+ of the class has a working camera/video that can be pulled out at any moment. It’s a pretty amazing thing to have instant perspective on events like a hurricane. If you had a picture from the Upper East Side things were pretty much normal as ever and picture from parts of Staten Island looked like a war zone.

    • That is a great point. Citizen journalism is so huge now especially after Sandy. For me, I also looked to twitter and instagram to get perspectives on what was happening during and after the hurricane. And I think its really great that news outlets are making use of these social media sites to really share what is going on with the world. It is fascinating how through the use of social media, we were able to get instant information on what was happening during Sandy.

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