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Shop and snap: How the age of Instagram is shaping consumer decisions

A look at the interplay between consumerism and social media
WATCH ABOVE: It's been a decade where we've seen and felt the massive impact of social media. Morgan Black explores how businesses are keeping pace with consumers.

For the past decade, we’ve felt the massive impact of social media, even when we’re offline.

Businesses are working hard to keep pace with consumers that want to not only buy, but also “like” and “share”.

Edmonton’s Kingsway Mall is one of many businesses making decisions based on consumers desire to connect. This year, the mall created CHROMA YEG—an interactive art installation that encourages shoppers to share their photo shoot with a wider audience.

A section of CHROMA YEG in Kingsway Mall
A section of CHROMA YEG in Kingsway Mall Morgan Black/Global News

“It would just look so cool on so many people’s feed. It’s fun to be in a different space,” explained Amanda Holmberg, an influencer contacted by Kingsway via Instagram to post a photo of the setup on her profile and host a giveaway.

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“If you care about something, you’ll share it with someone else and if you don’t… well you won’t share it,” Kingsway Mall’s Bo Tarasenko said. “[Instagram] is giving people the power to filter what’s going on.”

These photo-ready locations are popping up around the world, as more people wish to have an experience that’s also “Instagram-friendly”.

WATCH BELOW: After sold out shows in L.A. and Chicago, the travelling pop-up art installation called HAPPY PLACE has landed in Toronto. Minna Rhee reports.

Pop-up art installation brings happiness to Toronto
Pop-up art installation brings happiness to Toronto

“People are checking Instagram constantly. I was doing it recently myself! It’s almost become a new media and an advertising tool that didn’t exist a few years ago,” editor-in-chief of Retail Insider Craig Patterson said. “These visual creations are trying to draw people in to be part of things on social media.”

“It’s sort of the app of the decade, right? It’s making us all into artists,” said Fish Griwkowsky, an Edmonton-based art and culture critic.

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Some of those artists find success through the app that, by design, puts an individual’s very best on display.

READ MORE: Festival organizers to bring ‘inspiration,’ ‘life’ with Edmonton’s largest mural

“Probably 90% of my collaborations and my work comes from people communicating and finding me through Instagram,” explained Edmonton artist Hayley Wright. “It’s been a big part of my business. I started using it as soon as I was doing art professionally.”

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Hayley Wright's art piece at CHROMA YEG in Kingsway
Hayley Wright’s art piece at CHROMA YEG in Kingsway Morgan Black/Global News

Wright was scouted as an artist for CHROMA YEG through Instagram.

“Having the platform allows a lot of inspiration and a lot of new ideas to form that we might not have had access to ten years ago, they might not have existed at all.”

As the popularity of the app continues to rise, it’s pushed people to evolve alongside it in an increasingly connected world.

READ MORE: Canadian men are shopping on social media more than women, PayPal survey finds

“There’s people all over the world that know my name that would never have found me before,” Wright said.