Comparing 3 Social Networks


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Instagram is all about photographs and Community. It is a photo sharing social media app that allows users to take photos using the app itself or upload photos that already exist on their camera roll. Photos can be instantly shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Flickr.  Once you’ve selected the picture you want to share, the app lets you crop the image into a square shape similar to Instamatic and Polaroid camera images, it gives that retro feel. The ‘cool’ thing about Instagram is you can choose from 20 different filters ‘sepia and black and white tones, to vintage-looking borders and frames’ (Donnelley, 2013) to give it that professional look, just using your mobile phone. When posting a photo you can add a caption, tag followers, add the location of where the photo was taken. People can use #hashtags to promote themselves to a bigger audience or just find photo themes.

But there’s no fun uploading photos no one else can see, so like any other social network you build a social circle by ‘following’ people. At the top of one’s profile you can see their username, profile pic, how many photos have been uploaded, how many followers the account has, and how many they are following. In your news feed you can see photos posted by people you follower and your followers, you can acknowledge their post by liking or commenting on their pics.  Recently Instagram added a feature where users can post a 15 second video.


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Often when we are browsing online we find something we love and don’t want to forget where we found it, so we email it to ourselves, bookmark it on our computer or print it out and put it in a folder. To save us this trouble, there’s Pinterest, which provides an easier way to put together our discoveries, ideas, wants all in one place.

Pinterest is a website which offers a feature of a visual discovery board, a place where people go to get ideas for any project or interest in their life. As you find new products, ideas and anything online, using the pin it button you can ‘pin’ them on a visual board, directly from any webpage to your browser. You can create a collection of visual images that can be grouped together by topic in various boards. Unlike a real life bulletin board, anything you pin is saved in your account which can be accessed anywhere at any time. You can follow friends on Pinterest, and ‘repin’ things when you share things you find interesting on their Pinboard. You can also view a live feed of items being pinned by complete strangers. Pins can be shared on twitter and Facebook.




Essentially Tumblr is a mix blogging, microblogging and social networking platform. It depends on the individual person, what they want to use it for. It is a collection of a person’s microblogs that forms their whole blog called tumblr.

Tumblr is good for blogging, but it is not ideally used to publish a thousand word post about something.  It has mobile apps that allow users tumbling on the go. It has what’s called a ‘living theme ecosystem’ that offers users multiple ways to customise their site. Tumblr is connected with Twitter and Facebook, through which users can also post videos, videos, quotes, audio files, articles etc.Microblogging is the main feature for which Tumblr is used. Microblogging defines short text posts, usually no more than 140 characters long, it is mostly used for sharing thoughts, memes, quotes, videos music and statuses etc (Hedengren, 2011). Smartphone users can share anything on the go via Tumblr’s app.Tumblr is also a social networking platform, as you can follow people of your interest, reblog posts to your own tumblr blog. Users can also ‘like’ each other’s posts by which they can improve one another’s ranking within the Tumblr social network.

Tumblr has a commenting system for blogs, but only users of the site can make comments, ‘which only shows up on the Dashboard, and only works for primary blogs’ (Bradford, 2010). However recently Tumblr introduced a new feature that allows anyone to make comments, via a third party provider called Disqus.

Differences of the 3 Social Networks

  • Instagram is exclusively a photo sharing platform, where you cannot post without a photo.Instagram can only be used on a smart mobile phone.
  • Instagram has a differentiated product strategy i.e its amazing camera.
  • Pinterest is a bookmarking site, unlike Instagram you can make a collection of visuals that can be grouped by topic.
  • Pinterest is connected to retailers and businesses, which enables its largest growth.
  • Pinterest enables people to create for themselves, which then enables others to make their lives. It is for the benefit of society.
  • In Tumblr you can post text and add a photo to it, but on Instagram and Pinterest you must post or bookmark a photo and then add text.
  • On Tumblr you can post multimedia or any other content to a short form blog. Unlike on Instagram and Pinterest where Images and limited text is the only content one can post.

How can the differences of Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr be used as part of an integrated marketing communication strategy?

In today’s Information Technology run world, marketers are shifting from mass marketing to a more segmented strategy. They are moving away from traditional marketing methods to more cost effective, interactive and engaging new media methods. Integrated marketing communication strategy, as defined by Ferguson (2011) is the integration by the company of its communication channels to deliver a clear, consistent and compelling message about the organisation and its brands. Integrated marketing strategies utilize a combination of communication tools, traditional advertising including advertising, personal selling and public relation along with online communication tools such as social media.

An integrated marketing communications strategy is beneficial to companies and small organisations, as it is a cost effective method of reaching a broader target market, as these says most people use some form of social media. Since social media spreads fast it is likely to be a successful method of promotion.

Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr can be used as an integrated marketing communications strategy. For example, make up companies like Loreal through public relations; endorse celebrities like Jennifer Lopez to use their products. She may post a picture of herself on Instagram using the product. In the photo she is likely to tag the brand (L’Oreal) with a positive caption. This image is then shared with Jennifer Lopez’s fans, which are a potential market for the L’Oreal product. This is an example of a celebrity but ordinary people also post pics on Instagram and other social media in which they tag brands and companies. This is an example of how Instagram can be used as part of an integrated marketing Communications strategy


Bradford, K T 2010, What Tumblr Is and How To Use It: A Practical Guide, Laptop part of Tom’s Guide , viewed 15th September 2014,

Donnelly, T 2013, What is Instagram?, Whistle Out, viewed 15th September 2014,

Ferguson, J 2011, Module 5 integrated marketing communication strategy, Slide Share, viewed 15th September 2014,

Hedengren, T D  2011, Tackling Tumblr: Web Publishing Made Simple, John Wiley & Sons, viewed 15th September 2014,


Kavulla, K 2012, Pinterest: What it is, how to use it and why you’ll be addicted, Blog She Knows, viewed 15th September 2014,

Lux, K 2011, What is Instagram and Why Is It So Popular, Information Space, viewed 15th September 2014,

Linaschke, J 2011, Getting the Most from Instagram, Peachpit Press, Berkeley CA, viewed 15th September 2014,




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