Apple finally catches up with the rest of the world and joins Instagram

Apple is getting a bit more social.

The notoriously social media-shy tech giant just launched a new Instagram account to showcase some of the best photos taken with the iPhone.

Like Apple's long-running "Shot on iPhone" campaign, @Apple will exclusively feature curated and credited photos from iPhone users all over the world. The company says product photo galleries, commercials or other company marketing will never appear on the account.

The idiosyncratic Cupertino company has long eschewed advertising on competitor platforms, but it's loosened up a bit on that stance in the past couple years. It's opened Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts for Apple Music, Twitter accounts for iTunes and iBooks, and it had its long-dormant @Apple account officially verified last fall.

The fledgling account was stocked with four videos at launch — one introductory post and three artist-narrated galleries.

Instagram users can have their photos considered for a feature spot on the account by tagging them with the hashtag #ShotOnIphone. Apple says it will never use anyone's photos without their permission.

Apple's marketing material has been ramping up its emphasis on the creative capabilities of the iPhone in recent years with efforts like the "Shot on iPhone" campaign and in-store photography and video classes. The thinking seems to be that iPhone users who are more invested in device-related hobbies are more likely to care about increasingly incremental upgrades to its capabilities, and thus more likely to buy each new version of the phone.

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