The collective images of the areas were in most cases quite clear. Yet, also, different from each other. For example, the spatial configuration of the place and the architecture prompted people to take photos in a certain way and about certain objects (i.e. monuments in Jätkäsaari in the middle of empty landscape, street corners in Punavuori).
This type of study on collective images helps us better understand how citizens perceive and experience their environments. Even though perceptions are subjective, the areas clearly had a collective identity coming through Instagram images. But are these social media landscapes different from the ones perceived otherwise?
Instagram as a social media platform probably encourages people to take photos in a certain way. Embedded in social media there is also an aspect of copying: when a popular user chooses a certain aesthetic style, others follow. This behaviour might have affected our results.
However, the interaction of social media and physical space cannot be forgotten. If social media usage practices influence the way we interact with urban space and perceive the urban environment and landscape, how should we take that into account? Should we start for example designing ”instagrammable” streets and squares? Seeing that people photograph similar places within neighbourhoods brings up the question, what other possibilities apart from branding do these collective images offer city officials?