All throughout last week, we saw images of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy all over social networking sites. Social networks helped people stay in touch and gave those outside of the storm's path a way to see what kind of havoc Sandy was wreaking. Instragram was one of these sites people on the East Coast used to show the impact of Sandy, and it turns out that the Hurricane ended up being a pretty big event for the photo sharing network.
Speaking at GigaOM's RoadMap conference, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said that users uploaded almost 1 million photos accompanied by the hashtag "#Sandy." The 800,000 photos that were uploaded were enough to make Sandy "probably the biggest event to be captured on Instagram," Systrom said. Naturally, the media's coverage of Sandy helped propel it to center stage on a lot of different social networks, but as far as Instagram is concerned, Systrom said that the service's new geotagging feature helped users follow the storm in real time.
The fact that users flocked to Instagram to share images of the storm is probably pretty encouraging for the network, as it means that users don't just view Instagram as a way of sharing photos, but also sharing news and getting vital information to others quickly. This also proves that social networks - which some consider a waste of time - have some really useful applications. If nothing else, social networks like Instagram and Facebook are additional ways to get much-needed information to those affected by natural disasters quickly, and that is only a good thing.
The debate over the value of these social networks aside, it sure is interesting to hear that Hurricane Sandy proved to be Instagram's biggest event ever. It just goes to show that out of all of the social networks we have these days, Instagram is probably going to be one of the networks that hangs around for years to come. Check out our story timeline below for more on Instagram.