Apple has finally joined Instagram properly, years after it gave the app a reason to exist.
The iPhone helped create Instagram and together they launched a revolution in taking and sharing photos. More than one trillion photos are taken each year on Apple's handset, which is by far the most popular camera in the world.
But Apple hasn't until now had a full account on the site. And it still won't use it to post pictures of its products, like other brands.
Instead, the page will exist to highlight photos that are shot on the iPhone, by the hundreds of millions of people who use it as a camera each day.
Everything posted to the account will have been shot on the iPhone. And nothing posted on it will have been taken by Apple – but instead by its users.
The company will take submissions for the account and curate them, harvesting and picking out pictures from the diverse community of people who already congregate on the #ShotOniPhone hashtag. The best way to have a chance of being featured on the account is to include the #ShotOniPhone tag in any Instagram posts.
For the most part, nobody will be commissioned or paid to take photos for the account, since it aims to highlight the work of the Instagram community. But Apple might sometimes pay people to provide photos – in those cases the pictures will be accompanied by a message reading “#ShotoniPhone with paid support from Apple".
At launch, the handle will feature photos and videos from around the world and showing a diversity of perspectives. That's something that Apple will seek to highlight across the feed, with pictures using a range of techniques taken by different people from across the world.
Apple has been running the Shot On iPhone campaign for just over two years. The most obvious and high-profile part of it has been the huge banners that it has put up around cities around the world, highlighting images taken using the phone's camera.
One of the most recent of those, for instance, was a series of night-time photographs that aimed to highlight the new and improved low-light performance of the iPhone 7.
Until now, Apple hasn't used an Instagram account publicly, instead sending out ads that appear in feeds but aren't actually featured on a profile. It does something similar with its Twitter account, which is run from @Apple but has never sent a public post, instead just sending out sponsored posts to specific users.
Despite that, Apple and the iPhone have more than a little history with Instagram. It was founded in 2010 to seize on the trend for taking and sharing photos on iPhones – and indeed was only available on iOS for the first two years that it was around.
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