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Instagram Launches Music Channel @music

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Instagram is no longer just for making your smartphone images look like cool vintage shots. The Facebook-owned social network will now be promoting music on a dedicated channel.

@Music is the new Instagram channel that the company will use to showcase popular and emerging music. It's the first time that Instagram has promoted a specific kind of content on the network.

The move was announced via in an Instagram post by CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom. The @music account will aim to give a "behind-the-scenes" look at big-name artists, as well as drawing the spotlight to lesser-known performers.

Along with highlighting musicians, @music will showcase work from music photographers, album illustrators, instrument makers and is also encouraging fans to participate. "In the Instagram tradition, we will also welcome community participation with a new, music-themed monthly hashtag project," Systrom said in the launch statement. 

Among the more than 300 million people who use Instagram, the company says more than 25 percent of the most popular accounts belong to musicians. Since it launched in 2010, the platform has become an integral promotions and communications tool for artists, and a go-to source of news and entertainment for fans.

The @music channel will update just once a day, barring Monday when the account takes a rest day. A sample of the content that will be offered includes short profiles of featured artists and a mix of editorial series, including one offering 15-second music lessons and another spotlighting independent artists in cities around the world. The account kicks off on April 29 with profiles of Questlove, the drummer for The Roots, and Tricot, a math-rock band from Japan.

Twitter tried something similar with #music in 2013. The idea was that the hashtag would develop into the destination for sharing and showcasing new music, but it never captured the imagination of the twitterati and was eventually shut down after just six months.

Can Instagram succeed where Twitter failed? Only time will tell, but perhaps one of the reasons that #music didn't work is that fans tend not like being told where to share their music. The idea of big corporations trying to drive the buzz about new music and artists might grate with the anti-establishment ethos of many musicians and fans. 

Photo: Jared Eberhardt | Instagram 

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