On a recent Saturday by the Myriad Gardens downtown, a group of Oklahomans met for the first time, gripping iPhones and other cameras, ready to take photos on a walk.
Many in this group were familiar with each other from online interaction through Instagram, a mobile application on their iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads. They had a common interest — documenting their lives with photos. But on that Saturday, user names such as @i_like_boring_things, @pernicioustwit, @blueathena and @mom
Get App-y has featured the free app Instagram as a fun photo-sharing app. It's only available on the iTunes store, although plans include an Android app.
Instagram's 15 million users include casual and serious photographers, as well as teens and tweens who use it less for photos and more as a fun way to connect with friends.
The Oklahoma City Instagram meet-up, tagged “#igersOKC_instameet” (for “Instagrammers Oklahoma City”) in photos posted to the app afterward, wasn't the first local get-together that sprung from an online, social media site. When Twitter became popular a couple years ago, other social media-minded people organized similar meet-ups so relationships formed online could grow offline.
“I had met so many cool people on IG. I really wanted to meet them in real life,” said Oklahoma City Instagram meet-up organizer Beth Weiss, whose user name is “pernicioustwit.” “I saw so many other cities doing it, and it looked like they had a blast getting together with people that understand why you're pointing your phone at a water fountain or a leaf on the sidewalk.”
At the meet-up, users talked about their favorite apps, iPhone photo attachments and filters and picture-taking techniques. Several brought children. They agreed to meet regularly and launched a Facebook page.
Eric Lyons, “@i_like_boring_things,” an art teacher at Putnam City West High School, said he uses the service to see others' perspective of everyday life and to share his own. He and other Instagrammers are using the app PostalPix to exchange hard copies of photos by mail. Others post text as photos using apps such as
Through Instagram, “I've met great people that are truly encouraging and inspirational, from all over the world,” Weiss said.
For photos from the Oklahoma City Instagram meet-up and more apps, go online to blog.