Just as I want to write about why pictures are so important for engaging viewers, readers, teams, colleagues, communities (you get the idea) , the service that has changed the game goes and causes an uproar.

Despite Instagram’s current tizz concerning its terms and conditions it is a wonderful product that has changed the game of taking decent images and sharing them on the fly. It made taking ordinary pictures, making them look good (through filters) and sharing them as easy as A-B-C.

Instagram combined the strengths of the device – high quality cameras on smart phones – with the ease of making ordinary images look great and enabling users to share those images with their networks. Immediately.

Facebook has to take credit for snapping them up, even if the price was an eye-wateringly large $1bn.

So, why am I getting excited about pictures? Earlier this week I attended the ConnectingHR tweet-up. On the way I was thinking how I might capture some of the activity – the chat, the laughs etc – and was thinking I might just pose a question to people and record their answer for an Audioboo. I was thinking this might go on our LearnPatch site.

That wasn’t what happened, however. Instead I took some pictures with Instagram on my iphone and shared them on the tweet-up hashtag. Interestingly, the images sparked quite a few tweets from those who could not be there but who were following the event through the hashtag.

Some of the pictures ended up on Facebook and one is now the new profile image of one of the attendees.

We know a picture is worth a thousand words. We know how important pictures are for engaging individuals, groups, communities and networks. Who ignores a message to say you have been tagged in a picture? We like to see ourselves and others captured at a point in time.

Yet, when it comes to online content we like to default to text. But we can change that. The tools are here to help us create good quality pictures that help tell our stories. We seem to be good at doing this in our our personal lives. Now we should look at how we could do that in our professional lives.

[All the images above were taken at the tweet-up and are displayed using the Grid Lens app]

You can see more of my Instagram snaps on my profile page.