In the art world, Instagram has become the leading visual digital communication platform, with more than 500 million users worldwide, as confirmed by research conducted by marketing and advertising specialist Nate Elliott.

The evolutionary psychology of human attraction towards the images and principles of simplicity and portability of the application are compatible with a modern world eager to visually share interests, as summarized by the phrase “an image is worth more than a thousand words” coined by Frederick R. Barnard when he realized the effectiveness graphics have on advertising.

In addition, there are other important sources that confirm this trend: The Financial Times indicates that Instagram is the open forum chosen by artists, collectors and galleries and is an important force in the creative industries and art markets; states that Instagram will become the space to learn about contemporary art; and Artsy explains that Instagram allows the avid audience for the arts to connect with artists. Instagram is at the forefront of the visual world, actively communicating powerful messages and constantly connecting interests and societies, demonstrating that technology is increasingly helping us to experience the sensory essence of visual arts.

The 2016 Latinobarómetro Report, which covers the behavioral trends of the Latin American cybernaut, confirms a decline in traditional media. In contrast, social media networks, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have shown a steady growth: 50% of the Latin American population claims to use Facebook. In 2009, only 4% of Latin Americans used Twitter. In 2016, however, this number tripled. During this same time, YouTube went from 13% to 28%. Furthermore, new networks, such as Instagram and Snapchat, resurfaced with an entry in the region of 14% and 5% respectively, and this is where we see a golden opportunity.

At the Inter-American Development Bank, we believe in the value of the creative industries as engines for economic development in Latin America and the world and, in turn, we also bet on Instagram’s power to appeal to culture and the arts. For this reason, we launched our account, BIDcreatividad, which aims to highlight the works of IDB Corporate Art Collection masters and the artistic productions of the new generations of creators and artists of the region. We currently count on artists, such as Diego Masi, Enrique Collar, Carlos Runcie-Tanaka and Pietrina Checcacci, as our allies. They are not only committed to the quality of their art and experimentation with the means to transmit their craft and visual expressions, but are also constantly contributing to the progress of their social environment with their creative and inquisitive capacity.

Subsequently, through BIDcreatividad we want to map the artists, galleries and museums of Latin America and the Caribbean to inspire the discussion, create synergies and connect the agents of the ever-changing scene of the creative economy of the countries in our region. We need your help in identifying all this creative talent! If you are an artist, gallery and/or museum, we invite you to join this dialogue on creative industries by registering here. We count on you!

By Elba Agusti, communicator at the Inter-American Development Bank, specialized in visual arts and cultural management, advising cultural institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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