The above is a link to my (not often updated) personal Instagram account, where the post is a “regram” of someone else’s original picture as a method of joining a giveaway. Now, I’m not usually one to join a bunch of online giveaways in the slim hopes of winning, but I had come across this at the same time as we were talking about multimodal composition in class and thought, isn’t this an interesting example of online communication that circulates somewhat widely? In order to join the giveaway, one must a) have an Instagram account, b) “regram” the photo (which, I’ve learned, is a newfangled term for taking a screenshot of someone else’s original photo and reposting it) and c) hashtag it in a way that all entries can be visible in one place. The person who originally posted the giveaway benefits from this, because she gives an incentive so that she can draw attention to her own branding- the more people join, the more people can see the image and become aware and/or interested in its origin. The graphic is cleanly designed, reminiscent of a meme actually, with words on the top and bottom of the image that give the picture context.
What I think is particularly effective about this type of communication is that this type of “re-gramming” has already been popularized within Tumblr, where users post original content that circulates widely because people can “re-blog” it within seconds, allowing their followers to consume the media, and perhaps continuing the chain by “re-blogging” it to their own followers and so on. This is how memes and humorous texts spread widely, but other things such as news and current events media have circulated in this way as well. Instagram doesn’t make this as easy as reblogging on Tumblr, or sharing on Facebook, but it’s still a method used to spread a message to a wider variety of people- in this case, drawing attention to a blogger whose popularity depends on gaining more followers.