At 11.15 a.m. this morning, Justin Bieber discovered an amazing new use for Instagram:
The long-form social media rant.
The tactic takes advantage of Twitter's famous limit on tweet-length.
For years, angry celebrities (and anyone else with thoughts more complicated than 140 characters) have been frustrated by the central flaw in Twitter's publishing architecture: Everything you say is published most-recent first.
This is fine for one-off, short messages. But it's lousy if you need to express a concept that requires two or more tweets — the sentences appear "backwards" when seen by your readers, with the last tweet appearing as the first tweet at the top of your feed.
Bieber has now fixed this for all of us.
"Everyone in my team has been telling me, 'keep the press happy' but I'm tired of all the countless lies in the press right now," he told his fans in a 315-word essay decrying his critics, "Saying I'm going to rehab and how my family is disappointed in me."
The link to his cri de coeur — "I honestly don't care if you don't believe in me because I believe in me, my friends believe, my family believe, my fans believe, and look where that's gotten me so far" — was posted on Twitter as an Instagram photo link:
Followers who clicked on it were taken through to Instagram, where they saw a black-and-white picture of the back of Bieber's head (above) and his screed against the media, which was 1,266 characters long.
Here it is:
Twitter should take this seriously: Although a tweet was used to publicize the statement, the actual scoop was delivered on Instagram, owned by Twitter's arch-rival, Facebook.
Long-form writing has taken a beating in social media over the last five years. In addition to Twitter's letter-limit, Facebook hides longer status updates (requiring users to click for more) and advertisers have deliberately targeted dollars at so-called "snackable media" — the kind of content short enough to be satisfying on a cell phone.
To show you how different the Bieber Instagram proclamation is, compare it to Bieber's previous Manifesto Against The Haters, published March 6:
As a piece of writing, it's a disaster. Something about rumors, God and a 19-year-old going to a nightclub? What? Who can tell.
It's not a soliloquy, it's a grammar puzzle.
So, thank you Justin Bieber. History has yet to judge your existential philosophy — "i know who i am and i know who i'm not" — or, indeed, your punctuation. But as Marshall McLuhan once noted, the medium is the message: And you have delivered a new one.
Now Watch: Why Instagram Is Such A Huge Success
More From Business Insider