Instaslides

For my third hack I decided to use a software that is conventionally used for academic presentations, Google Slides, as a way to reimagine Instagram. By doing this, I found and exposed the many affordances of Instagram that its users often take for granted. Also by putting Instagram on Google Slides, one can see the many ways this subjunctive software hack has new capabilities that are unique to Google Slides. I mean to say that because of the nature of the two different applications, merging Instagram onto Google slides makes exposes the uniqueness of Google Slides as well as the uniqueness of Instagram. Thus, differences in the functionality, platform, and reception of the applications reflect the accessibility as well as the inherent purposes and expectations of each application.

One stark difference between Google Slides and Instagram is who can access the slides. On Instagram, there is a newsfeed where one puts content out to followers of an individual accounts. Networks of these accounts form chains of newsfeeds which allow infinite amounts content to exist, thus supporting the life of Instagram. However, it seems magical, much like the internet or any other type of app such as Facebook, Snap Chat, etc. But there’s an extensive amount of code and physical wiring which channels all of the content through the computer pathways to allow for Instagram to exist as if seamlessly. Google Slides, on the other hands, exists as a platform for presentations. One can add content, but can only share with others by manually sharing it with specific emails.

Also, while Instagram is two sided-meaning one side gets a notification when they are followed, and in turn can easily follow the account back with a click-Google Slides, and therefore “Instaslides” is one sided-meaning that the only way to share is to manually enter the email address of somebody you want to share your content with.

The pathway of how accounts are shared is also opposite for Instagram and Google Slides (and therefore “Instaslides”). For example, on Instagram, one “follows” another instagram account and on Google Slides (and therefore “Instaslides”), one has to share their content with other emails. This is interesting because of the way it places the agency of who sees the individual’s content on the individual and not on the population. I could see this appealing to musicians anyone marketing their own product or service because of the way one can share it to anyone you have the email of, although it depends on whether or not you have the email.

Another difference between Instagram and Google Slides is the “like” function, which is nonexistent on Google Slides but is present on Instagram. There has been a lot of thought and talk about the unhealthy habits of users of Instagram who often use it because of their unhealthy obsession with likes because of the dopamine one gets per like received; this is akin to being addicted to gambling and/or drugs which we know does a lot of harm to many lives of addicted peoples. Google Slides doesn’t have a function for likes, so therefore “Instaslides” wouldn’t be able to have that function either unless it were entered into a new code if rebranded. However, there would be benefits to starting the new social media app without likes because people could purely share with one another, and for the sole purpose of sharing too.

There are comments on both applications; however, Instagram has a built in comment section while Google Slides lets you comment wherever you’d like on the slide by word. This difference allows the affordance that people don’t need to comment, and if they do it doesn’t have to be about the whole post, which might not be a stark difference, but it lends itself to a new way of thinking; users will think about what they comment, but before that if they really want to comment, and that could lead to a way of being more critical.

If we now focus on the expectations of each application and pose them with the clash of expectations that “Instaslides” assumes, we’ll see what the misuse of the expectation of Google Slides shows us on a subjunctive level. I’ll do this by reexamining each of the differences listed above.

First, Instagram has to be defined as a social platform that connects people through the content they post online matched with the content they see posted from who they follow as well. Through different newsfeeds, a network forms. With Google Slides, only a smaller more exclusive group of people can see your content and likewise, although it has to be manually shared. Much like the expectations of Google Slides being an application for elite work of academia, the exclusive and maybe even elite group who has access to ones “Instaslides” account is informed by the platform on which it is based upon. The consequences for this is that “Instaslides” would have to be for an intimate party of people because of the sheer numbers the account would be able to reach and the nature of the application.

A final analysis of the comments in each application also informs the way in which the comments exist in each context of each application, including the way “Instaslides” would run and also subjectively be thought of. The comment section as well as the option to like in Instagram is present under every item of content, and this tells the application user that they should either like or not like, and comment or not comment, but the option is there. The fact that it is there informs the application user that the expectation is also there that one must engage with it in order to use Instagram “correctly”. Compared to Google Slides, there is no comment section. On the toolbar, there is an option to comment if one would like, but it is not mandatory. There are also no likes, which can be thought of as a blessing instead of the unhealthy obsession which comes for going on instagram because one wants to feel a sense of validation. These differences, which are also informed by the expectations of Google Slides being a place where work is reviewed and commented on, while Instagram is a place where people are praised or bullied, inform that maybe “Instaslides” may be a healthier alternative to the unhealthy implications associated with Instagram.

This is the selfie of me and Victor-Alan in class on the day I presented “Instaslides”

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