From the Rich Kids of Instagram Tumblr (slogan: "They have more money than you, and this is what they do.") down to less uber-fabulous social circles, sharing photos of your cool life on Instagram and other social media has become de rigeur. So what's a self-respecting player to do if he doesn't live such a cool life?
Enter Instasham (slogan: "If you can't make it, fake it"). The gently mocking site allows the hoi polloi to take a photo that isn't theirs, upload it and pretend they too are in on the trend of oversharing pictures on expensive yachts and of exorbitant vacations.
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Instasham was created by Stacey Smith and Andy Dao, Brooklyn artists who work at the ad agency Mother. "We are a culture that brags through megapixels," Dao said. Out of that shared observation came what they call a "media arts project and social experiment."
"It's poking fun at the culture of 'Look where I am, look what I'm doing, look what I'm eating, look how cool I am,'" Smith said.
The simple site offers a library of images organized into the themes Dao and Smith had noticed most on Instagram: cars and planes, friends partying, beaches (especially "people's feet on a beach, 'cause that's a huge trend," Smith said), shopping, among others. You pick one you like, click on it, shoot it with your smartphone camera, then upload it with your caption and hashtags.
The photos come from Instagram feeds Dao and Smith see and other online sources. This is prominently stated, along with an offer to remove any image if someone asks. No one has.
Since it launched last month, Instasham has gotten more than 200,000 hits, the founders said. It has gotten more than 1,400 Facebook likes and 695 tweets, and the hashtag #instasham has united many who appreciate the joke.
Maybe it's popular because it doesn't skewer its target too badly.
"Who are we to judge, you know?" Smith said. "That's great, good for you, you have lots of money, and you're taking pictures of it in so many ways."