Malaysia Asia on Instagram

Malaysia Asia on Instagram - Why? Because it is one of the easiest ways to take photos and share them with my social network when I am traveling or simply exploring my own city. Currently there are quite a number of people on Instagram in Malaysia but not many are Travel Instagrammers. Before I continue, some of you may or may not know what Instagram is, well it is an online photo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take a picture, apply a digital filter to it, and share it on a variety of social networking services, including its own. 

Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Cheyenne Foster and launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of September 2012. In April 2012, Facebook bought over Instagram and its 13 employees for US$1 Billion Dollars, how about that? 

Malaysia Asia on Instagram, my profile and statistics as of 21st Dec 2012

Right now, the number of Instagrammers in Malaysia is relatively unknown but as far as I know, there are quite a huge following. Most of them use it for personal use, uploading pictures of themselves (camwhoring), food pictures (this is huge), event pictures, pet pictures, random pictures, graphic photos and travel pictures. Basically, Malaysia Asia uses Instagram to share unique pictures that promote our local food, cultures, heritage, places of interest and all things related to tourism. If you look deep into this social media platform you will slowly learn to understand how this can benefit your followers and even clients. 

Overall, when social media is free, you will get all kinds of Instagram users in Malaysia. Based from my experience here, social media can show the worst of people especially those who portray themselves as so-called leaders in this area but fail in social media platforms. I have personally seen how some users post absolutely no relevance to what they claim to do. Most of the time, it is horrible pictures which look like they were taken drunk or without care. I guess there is still a lot to learn about social media here in Malaysia.

I am also guessing the next to follow in this social media platform is Instameets in Malaysia. It has already taken off in other countries, but as usual, we will only follow much later. Inatameets are something like Tweetups in Malaysia. Here, local users meet at a selected place to socialize and make new friends. A #hashtag is used for the meet up where pictures will be taken and shared among each person's network. Maybe I should organise a KL Instameet for 2013?

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Anyway, here are some tips for those planning to use Instagram for Travel. 
  • Always use #hashtags when you post a picture
  • Never go more than 5 #hashtags per post
  • If you must, do it in the comment box after posting the picture
  • Use the Location function if you can
  • Have an eye for sunrises, sunsets and even unique structures
  • Colorful scenes make a difference 
  • Put details of the picture
  • Having your profile open gets more followers
  • Most importantly, Have fun! 
Things to Avoid while using Instagram:
  • Signing up for Free instagram followers
  • Paying for followers
  • Running insta-bots
  • Following accounts that have no profile pictures or uploaded photos
  • Posting offensive pictures
  • Using vulgarity in your tags or chat
  • Over posting pictures (10 photos every hour?)
Have you noticed that some users have over 50k followers, I have even seen some with 1.5million followers. These are the people who use so-called 'bots' to gain followers and is totally un-organic. There are also many 'girls' who will follow you and when you click their profiles, you will see the 'get free followers' link. Many people still think that having more followers and likes makes you popular, but I beg to differ. I honestly thing quality followers who engage are more important.

Recently, Instagram rolled out some new terms and conditions for users and I am sure you have seen that in your profiles. So please read them carefully as it seems to side the company more than the users. Anyway, I am also waiting for an update from them as they promised to revise it as many users were not happy. 

Here are some useful links for Instagram users in Malaysia

I am C.C offers you the possibility to license your Instagram Pics under Creative Commons. If you have not used this, you should, especially for blogs too.
http://i-am-cc.org/

Search.Stagram is a search engine for Instagram pictures. You can search pictures using multiple words and keywords and tags from this platform. 
http://search.stagram.com/

Followgram creates an Instagram’s follow button to be embedded on websites, blogs and  provides a vanity URL. This is awesome for those who want to showcase their photography or even get new followers.
http://followgram.me/

InstaQuit allows you to track your followers and unfollowers on Instagram. Instaquit will collect your statistics several times a day and let you know by your preferred delivery method. Excellent if you want to track who and who is following and unfollowing you.
http://www.instaquit.co.uk/

Instaport.me is a simple way to export or backup all your Instagram photos. A plain and simple way to export all your Instagram photos to other social services or your local hard drive. This way, you can have a copy of all those pictures taken from day one.
http://instaport.me/

InstaEarth makes it easy to explore the world through beautiful photography taken by Instagram users. Only if you are into the travel or exploration photos.
http://instaearth.me/

Quick Gallery with author’s design and smart usability make it the most elegant way to present your photos on the web. This is also available for other social platforms like Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter. 
http://www.quickgallery.com/

IgersTools allows you to follow back, unfollow back and use a megatag tool for your instagram via a website. Excellent tool as you get to see the users profile picture a little larger than instagram. When you provide your email, they will send you a password for you to use back on the site. Do not enter your email password!
http://www.igertools.com/

Pingram is a mash-up of Instagram and Pinterest. For those who like both, you can get your own customized name url page (pingram.me/username). You can also embed in your facebook page here.
http://www.pingram.me/

Eventstagr.am provides a platform for event organisers to display a live Instagram feed to their guests. Still new therefore it will work well if you have a small event. Signing up gives you a free option and 2 paid options.
http://eventstagr.am/

UnFollowgram is an online service that allows you to check who unfollowed you on Instagram. Still in the beta stage, can be a little unstable, but it worked for me when I tried it.
http://unfollowgram.com/beta/

Instapress.it is a highly customizable plugin offers the possibility to embed feeds from Instagram into your WordPress Blog. This is excellent for wordpress users who want to show off their photos.
http://instapress.it/

Prinstagram prints all your pics in all kind of formats. You choose the pictures and they ship it worldwide. Pictures are made with a good quality photo paper. A good idea as a gift to someone. Why not?
http://printstagr.am/

The above are only some of the more popular links to Instagram which I have personally tried each on them. If you browse the web, you can find even more but at your own risk. Again, be cautions of those sites selling followers as you do not want spam in your feed.


There you have it, a small and simple breakdown of Instagram for the users in Malaysia and the world over. Also on why I use this as I am still considered new in this social media platform, I have been actively using this for about 12 months now, especially on my travels to Borneo, Bali, Thailand and The Philippines. I find it excellent to share photos on the go.
I frequently travel around Malaysia and Asia therefore the most important thing is my smartphone and data service. I use a Samsung Note 2 as the screen size is just nice for my Instagram and other social media applications. Seriously, I was a first generation iPhone user before, but after I tried Android, everything changed for me. This is only my personal view. So, if you are an Instagrammer or love this product and travel, please do follow Malaysia Asia on Instagram.

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