The Crown Joins Instagram
Last weekend an Instagram account was marked as "verified" therefore confirming its authenticity online to the world and marking the beginning of the end for all copycat accounts that have plagued the site in it's absence. That account was Rolex. After nearly five years of Instagram only now has Rolex taken a deep breath and dived into the waters of the online photo sharing platform that currently has over 300 million active users. Dozens of watch brands already use the social media site actively with all the Swatch Group brands from Glashutte Original down to Tissot online along with many prestige watchmakers like IWC, Audemars Piguet and Jaeger LeCoultre also posting pictures and videos. There is something unique about the fact that "The Crown" has decided to join however. For businesses Instagram is a way of connecting directly with their market and further crafting their image to match traditional print media and seeing a very conservative company like Rolex become involved makes you wonder where the brand might go next?
In just a space of two weeks Rolex has amassed over sixty thousand followers, it did take them a while to start using the platform in a similar way to their industry peers. The majority of the photos up until the end of November were either reposts from "Friends of the Brand" with Rolex wishing them thanks, pictures from either Rolex sponsored or timekeeping eventsand the ever popular collage set of photos which have to be viewed on the brands account to see the whole picture.
I fail to understand why Rolex was reposting photos from their "friends" rather than use their own as sometimes you couldn't even see what watch was being worn either through poor composition or a blurry photo. They also seemed to be intent on thanking everyone with familiar faces like Rodger Federer and Michael Buble alongside lesser known names like Bertra Mallen or Domonic Foos. Perhaps it was a sense of total completion-ism that led the person in charge of their Instagram feed to thank every person associated with the brand? Maybe they were waiting till the verified badge to appear on their page before posting any of their own shots of watches? However at the time of writing this Rolex have posted several beautiful high resolution macro shots of the Rolex Yacht-master in 18ct Everose Gold. I can only hope that this is the type of photos we'll be seeing more of in the future from the Rolex Instagram.
It will be very interesting to see what affect (if any) this has on the social media presence of certain brands. Omega and TAG Heuer are very active on Instagram posting a good mixture of press, watch and behind-the-scenes photos whilst Audemars Piguet posts only occasionally but always with superbly high quality videos or images. I do not think it was a coincidence that Rolex chose to join Instagram now with Baselworld only 3 months away. With any other company I would wager we'd see sneak-peeks of their upcoming launches but Rolex is notoriously tight lipped when it comes to Baselworld so exactly what they'll post is anyone's guess. Now it is only Patek Phillipe that remain not on Instagram despite there being ample calling for it from watch geeks online. No company likes to be seen as being reactionary to another but I would wager that having seen the popularity of Rolex joining Instagram, a few voices at Patek will be murmuring quietly about what is next for the brand. Until then sit back, grab your smart phone and simply enjoy what Rolex puts online.