Potential Use of Social Media in the NEPA Process

NCHRP 25-25/80

Interactive Tools Matrix

Collage of Social Networking Products

Video & Photo Sharing


Instagram is an online photo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook or Twitter. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio now typically used by mobile device cameras. www.instagram.com

Features: P; CI; AC; SCP; GL; MM; MC
Benefits: Compatibility with other social media, digital filtration, ease of use
Enhances or enhanced by: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, blog sites, GovLoop
Potential NEPA Application: Used primarily for real-time sharing of photos taken on smart phones, Instagram is best used with Facebook or Twitter for longer term storage and broader sharing. Could be used for data collection or creating an image library with public input. The research team is not aware of prior use of Instagram for NEPA.
Notes: Consider using Instagram to collect input for public scoping by asking stakeholders to post photos of key locations or ideas using a designated hashtag.