Durban - If you don’t post a picture of it, it never happened. This is the ethos by which celebrities around the world live today.
If they have lunch with friends, holiday in exotic locations or buy a Burberry bag, they post a picture of it. And what does any self-respecting fan do? Click the “like” option.
Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The photo sharing and special effects app has exploded in use in South Africa, from below 100 000 in 2012 to 680 000 in August.
South African celebrities are no different from their international counterparts and are as enthusiastically following the instagramming trend.
Ahead of the pack in South Africa with the most followers is “It Girl” Bonang Matheba. The Top Billing presenter has 72 645 followers. She has posted pictures of her Range Rover SUV, her closet filled with Givenchy bags and even her R1 318.44 petrol bill.
Minnie Dlamini, another media darling, who is dating Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune, has 62 884 followers. She is often seen posting pictures of gifts given to her by her boyfriend with include Christian Louboutin shoes, Michael Kors watches and jewellery from Tiffany & Co.
He may not have the most followers but openly gay celebrity choreographer Somizi Mhlongo is happy to flaunt his flamboyant lifestyle.
From shopping at Louis Vuitton every week and driving his BMW, to posting pictures of travelling first or business class, Mhlongo shows it all.
The star recently posted a picture of an R11 376 dinner bill, which included a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue for R4 000. After that picture was posted, many of Mhlongo’s followers took issue, saying his behaviour was unacceptable as many people in South Africa did not even earn R11 000 a month.
Vuzu presenter Lalla Hirayama has 11 084 followers, while her friend and fellow Vuzu presenter Dineo Moeketsi has 19 208. Boitumelo Thulo, who recently posed for the Marie Claire Naked Edition, has 53 871 followers.
Another Top Billing presenter who uploads pictures of her travels across the globe is Jeannie D, who has 21 085 followers.
Socialite Uyanda Mbuli, who seems to make a trip to the United Arab Emirates every month, has 29 844 followers and fans get to perve over her latest pair of Valentino heels and Versace timekeepers and watch, in envy, her first class-travels to Dubai and New York.
And instagramming is only going to get more popular, says Mike Wronski, managing director of social network analytics company Fuseware.
“We can expect this number to grow even more dramatically in the coming year as Instagram becomes a popular app on Android phones, while Android itself is expected to grow significantly in South Africa in the coming year.”