Instagram. The social media platform with 500 million daily active users (including me and probably many of you reading this!). We’re all guilty of constantly thinking of our ‘gram’ and having it take over many aspects of our lives including holidays, nights out, family gatherings and now even cooking. Instagram was originally founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom as a platform for people to share photos from their everyday lives with their followers who can double tap the photos to ‘like’ them, similar sort of concept to Facebook. 8 years later and the app is now among one of the most popular social media platforms around the world with users posting picture perfect posts fuelling your social media jealousy. One of the more recent features of the app being the ‘Explore Page’. A page dedicated to people/pages you don’t follow but based on the people you do follow Instagram suggest you should check these out too. I’m not sure about you guys but 9 times out of 10 my explore page is full of food pictures, making it very tempting to try one of the recipes Instagram has conveniently placed on my explore for me. So this week I took to my explore page and let Instagram chose what I was going to make and here’s what we ended up with…
I got this recipe from the page @theglobaltaster but the original recipe is from one of the most popular Instagram recipe pages @buzzfeedtasty, which has an impressive 26.4 million followers. The still image of the chicken enticed me into clicking the post on my explore page and after watching the short video and seeing how easy it seemed it was irresistible to me.
Instagram in action
I gathered my three ingredients and prepared the kitchen, I set my phone up in clear vision on the side and pressed play on the video. First step, fry the chicken. I watched as the person placed oil and the chicken thighs into a pan and I did the same. However, I had not even finished putting the last bit of my chicken in the pan before the whole recipe video was over! The video lasted a total of 24 seconds which is clearly impossible for any cook, especially me. I know these timings aren’t realistic but a very annoying feature of Instagram is once you hit play on a video, you can’t actually pause it you have to just watch it on a continuous loop. This proved a little difficult in the kitchen as at some points I had just missed the next step or in other cases I had quickly finished a step and had to wait for the next one. In fairness the video was only 24 seconds long so I was never waiting an excessive amount of time however it is a bit of a pain repeating the same 24 second video around 300 times (no exaggeration). Also, unlike last week’s recipe provider, Instagram is not hands-free or voice controlled. Mix that with a sticky recipe you don’t really have the best result, especially on a phone screen. Having said that, the recipe oozed simplicity, with only three ingredients and two cooking utensils needed it was definitely my kind of recipe, thank you Buzzfeed.
The results were also incredibly good, the sticky chicken went perfectly with some egg fried rice and this knock off Chinese would definitely save money instead of reaching for the takeaway menu every Saturday. The chicken was sweet and juicy, I was very impressed with myself once again, Masterchef watch out.
Instagram is personally one of my favourite social media platforms and I love watching food videos on the daily. Saying that, it wasn’t actually the easiest platform to cook from. I chose a very simple recipe and I’m glad I did because I would not have been able to handle a recipe with 10 or more ingredients. Instagram is a free platform (sign up required) and therefore an easy place to get recipes, if you are okay with watching the recipe video a fair few times. Instagram is not even ten years old yet making it still very new and with future developments this minor issue may be resolved.
I have to say though, can you really picture your grandma using Instagram? With its 500 million daily users it’s hard to picture many of them being over 70. This cuts out a major audience from the platform and I can guarantee your grandparents will continue reaching for a recipe book instead of Instragram. Are they the sensible ones? Still bringing us back to that old school versus technology argument and questioning what is superior out of the recipe book and new technologies.
Can we argue that Instagram is changing the cooking game? With #food featuring over 315 million posts (and counting) I think we can say people to go to the app to share photos of their food. Could we go as far to say people are reaching for their Instagram app instead of a recipe book? That I’m not so sure of. As mentioned earlier not everyone has an account and let’s not forget the apps primary use is to share photos from day to day life, not a recipe book. So, although Instagram is a great place to share photos and equally a great place to watch and get inspired by some recipes, it may not actually replace good old recipe books anytime soon.
If you missed last weeks blog post, read it here!