Joe Weisenthal writes on Business Insider about his use of Instagram to conduct real-time search.
Instagram isn’t perfect, but for the most part you don’t get re-posts (though re-gramming is a thing on a small scale) and you can fairly quickly establish whether a person’s photo makes sense in the context of their previous images. Whereas on Twitter lots of people are news curators, on Instagram people mostly all do the same thing: post what they see right in front of their eyes at that time.
Instagram search isn’t always perfect for news. For one thing, you have to search via one single hashtag, which is annoying. And you can’t search by location (though there are third party search engines that do this). And sometimes you get a lot of people Instagramming a shot of their TV covering news.
But the potential with Instagram is huge in terms of seeing exactly what people are seeing on the ground as events unfold. And it wouldn’t take much for Instagram (owned by Facebook) to improve the search and make it even more useful.
News on Instagram is crowd-sourcing of news. Many more pairs of eyes than news agencies can deploy, covering the news at numerous angles.