Instagram is a popular social-network for amateur smartphone photographers. Up until about a week ago, it was only available for those of us who own an iPhone. It's now available for Android as well. (Or, at least, compatible versions of Android on compatible Android phones.)
And, of course, some Instagramers aren't all that happy about the quality of the pictures that are coming in from the influx of new Android users. So be it. I'm sure most of Instagram's 30,000,000 users haven't said a word but, as always, the most critical of us are usually the most vocal. (When I say us, I don't mean me. I've never uploaded an image to Instagram, even though I have an account, nor have I chimed in on the relative photographic capabilities of the
riffraff Android contingent.)
Dan Lyons, on the other hand, is positively steamed about this development:
When I first saw that string of complaints by Apple-loving Instagram users on Buzzfeed I thought it might be a prank, or a parody. I thought it was someone making fun of the kind of people who use Instagram. But apparently not. The story has been picked up all over the place, like CNET and CNN, with journalists wringing their hands over the “class warfare” between Apple and Android.
In a nutshell, the conflict is rooted in a belief that Apple customers have higher income and better taste, and that Android users are hoi polloi who are so vulgar or stupid that they can’t see why Apple products are better. Or maybe they see the difference, but they’re too cheap to spring for an Apple phone and just want a cheap Android knockoff.
Ouch! How dare a cherry-picked subset of the iPhone-owning Instagram community smugly generalize the Android-owning newcomers as talentless hacks?
What sort of jackhole would harbor such preconceived notions and use those to generalize an entire community?
Apparently, Dan Lyons is just that sort of jackhole.
I wish I could say that I had to go dig for this, but it's actually the lead-in to his rant about the terrible way iOS instagramers are treating Android instagramers:
My feeling is this: I already hated Instagram and the posers who use it, and now I just hate them even more.
For the uninitiated, Instagram is a simple app that lets you take photographs and apply filters that make the pictures look like old-fashioned-y Kodak or Polaroid snapshots. Neato, right?
The app came out in late 2010, and suddenly every talentless hipster in the world was going around taking crap snapshots of food trucks and steam coming out of sewer grates and convincing themselves that this was “art” just because they could screw around with some color filters.
Next, these idiots started cluttering up Facebook, Tumblr and Google+ not only with their own junk, but with the “masterpieces” of other digital aesthetes that they’d discovered and just had to share with the world.
So thanks, Instagram, for creating a piece of software that lets 30 million pretentious douchetards uglify every site on the Web with their horrific eye-manure.
So, to sum up, Dan Lyons is mad that a group of people that he "already" generalized as posers, talentless hipsters, idiots and douchetards -- and who were cluttering up his social networks with shitty pictures -- are now, in turn, unfairly generalizing a newer subset of that same community for submitting shitty pictures.
It's not class warfare. It's ass warfare.