Social network most used by artists, collectors and cultural institutions. Instagram breaks codes and upsets the established order in the art market. The application offers many possibilities to discover artworks adapted to everyone's taste and finances. Instagram users particularly appreciate the visual and intimate aspect of the platform.

Instagram can be considered a social phenomenon, which is why Art Shortlist decided to look into three reasons that demonstrate how this social network has changed the rules of the game on the art market.

Art Shortlist
by Thibault de Watrigant - January 5, 2021

The magic of hashtags

These clickable words are magical and funny, their good use allows artists or sellers to make themselves known to collectors looking for artworks and artists by well-defined keywords. The application's algorithms offer users content adapted to their tastes and preferences. It's a bit like being in a supermarket in the cereal packet section and a machine from nowhere hands you the box that best suits your tastes. 

As you can see, on paper, hashtags connect an advertiser to its target, but in reality many profiles use trendy hashtags for offbeat or inappropriate content. As a collector, you therefore have a selection job to do to find a few nuggets.

A few months ago, Instagram gave its users the opportunity to subscribe to hashtags so that publications related to them could be found in their news feed. Here we can see the platform's desire to personalize the experience of its users in order to build loyalty. This new possibility will undoubtedly allow you to make some miraculous catches. So here's to your smartphones!

The cult of the image

Between the stories, the publications, the lives, the image is at the centre of everything on Instagram. This visual abundance can sometimes lose users who don't know what to think. Stories (ephemeral photos or videos published by users for 24 hours, or sometimes more) and lives have been, for a few years now, particularly popular means of seducing a community by keeping it informed and loyal on a daily basis.

Applications designed to sublimate your stories and publications are flourishing on smartphones, which generally improves the intrinsic quality of shared content. Competition on Instagram is therefore becoming increasingly fierce and ruthless. When it comes to art, visuals are the key to a work's presentation. By favouring photo or video quality, art sellers put all the chances on their side to capture a targeted and interested clientele. 

Purists will say that it is impossible to appreciate a work of art on a screen, we tell them that this is not true, since with technological advances in photography, it will soon surpass the human eye on the quality of the restitution of details (if it hasn't already done so). We agree that there is nothing better than a physical confrontation with a work: one can feel more emotions, the material is more visible and the appreciation of the format in an interior is a determining factor in loving a work. Yet, whether some people like it or not, a crush can take place on a screen, I speak from experience, one can become a fan of an artist without ever having seen his works on a wall. 

In all areas, Instagram has the power to bring quality content to its best targets, which is why this platform has become indispensable for any activity in the art market.

The close proximity of buyers to art market players

After magic and image, Instagram rhymes with proximity, the platform allows its users to carry out actions unthinkable in the past, to get closer to artists and art sellers. The range of actions to achieve this is varied: private messages to dialogue directly with an institution or an artist, the possibility to subscribe, to like and comment on account publications, to view stories and much more.

As you will have understood, the opportunities to get in touch with interesting accounts are numerous and appear to be the very purpose of this social network. Instagram therefore gives its users time to soak up the profiles before being convinced.

It can be stressed that this system does not manipulate the audience, leaving them free to make their own choices, which makes it a formidable and authentic marketing tool. This type of privileged relationship pushes companies to raise the quality of their services, otherwise they will be subject to strong criticism that will quickly spread to the various social networks. Instagram erases distances and borders by giving the possibility to discover works or services located at the other end of the world from one's couch.

Join us on Instagram : @artshortlist