Relationships from afar: The Changing Dynamics of a Plant Community on Instagram and How Video Impacts Communication

The launch of Instagram TV on Instagram - an autoethnographic walk into an online community to explore how video facilitates new types of online relationships

The project investigates the changes in communication practices due to the launch of Instagram TV – IGTV and other video posting.  Communication on Instagram was previously only done through text and image posts, but the newly added video medium to the platform changes the way members of communities can communicate with each other.  The main conclusion identified in this study is that IGTV allows newcomers to the community to integrate faster than before through the creation of stronger and faster built bonds via video.  Community members often develop attachments with ‘personas’ in these online communities, due to para-social and vicarious interactions meaning relationships are developed through one-way communication (Horton and Wohl 1956). Although it is a relationship from afar, it creates stronger bonds to the community and better understanding of the specific activity, i.e., plant growing in this context.

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