It was only a matter of time before travel companies realised the massive Instagram community could be useful with promotions and getting content for websites.
One such outfit is European airline BMIBaby, which has spent the past few months working with thousands of Instagram users to create its website destination guides.
The idea is quite simple: interact with 170 of the so-called Instagramer groups (collections of like-minded snappers around the world) and persuade them to tag their photos with the name of the destination.
The photos are then added to any of the 39 destination guides on the airline’s website, giving visitors a range of images taken by other users.
Instagram, for the¬†uninitiated,¬†is a online photo sharing service which uses various filters to turn even the weakest photograph into a more palatable (and quite often, pro-looking) image.
One of the first was a collection for Italy, all masterminded and aggregated using the #miaitalia hashtag on Instagram…
In just a month, over 3,000 photos were submitted to the site, with a public vote launched to let users decide on the best image. The winner received a free pair of flights to Italy.
The success of the Italy pilot prompted the airline to carry out similar competitions in a string of other countries, including Germany and Holland. Switzerland is next, the airline says.
An interesting aside to the initiative is a programme to fly various Instagrammers to other so-called Instameet around Europe (informal meet-ups).
Once again, during the get-together, attendees were asked to their tag images. The first event in London and second in Venice yielded a further 1,200 images for the website.
While BMIBaby has headed down the route of capturing content for its website, Air France has this week also muscled in on the Instagram craze, launching a competition for passengers to take a unique picture that best represents the airline, using the tagging function within the platform to aggregate all the entries.