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Vienna Opens “Made For Instagram” Selfie Museum

Museums have been a hub of culture ever since world history originated. They give us a special insight into certain aspects of the past, humanity, and events that shape different areas of the world. The MET in New York City is the home to thousands of years worth of art and architecture from all across the globe, while the more specific Museum of Modern Art showcases one era of artistic expression and its evolution throughout time. 

Throughout the past decade museums have seen a decline in foot traffic. This is partially due to the fact that the “museum experience” has turned into more of a social affair than a cultural one. Most people go to museums just to say that they did and so they can post pictures of themselves next to trendy or interesting artifacts/art. In a study done by Artsy Online Magazine, it was found that 37% of individuals who go to museums don’t view it as a “cultural experience”. Younger generations have redefined their meaning of culture to become a part of everyday life. Street and performance art, food and drink experiences, any going out activity that humans take part in, that’s what is becoming the growing definition of modern culture. Although culture as a word is getting a bit of a face-lift, it doesn’t discount the years and years of valuable pieces that are displayed in the museums of the world and their impact on history. 

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This new market for culture has sparked a new type of museum experience to grow throughout the world. Today, it’s all about impact, and the best way to make an impact is to go viral online, so more museums that contain trendy, modern, and visually stimulating exhibits are beginning to appear. The Museum of Sex in New York City has hundreds of displays of Victorian sex toys, interactive sensory experiences, and even a bouncy house room full of inflatable breasts that you and a friend can bounce on and post online. The Museum of Ice Cream originated in San Francisco and is known for its vastly colorful and interactive exhibits, all topped off with a pool of sprinkles. Are you sensing a pattern? The main idea behind museums such as these is to be the most social media friendly. What’s more Instagram worthy than a picture of you in your sweetest outfit (pun intended) chilling in a pool full of rainbow sprinkles? 

These museums appeal to a younger audience, and therefore become trends on social media, and the business just booms. The Museum of Ice Cream as a business is now worth over $200 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Vienna has taken all of this into account and has opened a new museum that was created with the sole purpose of being Instagrammed. So much so that the name of the museum is the “nofilter_museum”, meant to resemble an Instagram username. 

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According to BBC News, the museum is built with 24 interactive rooms all equipped with multiple backgrounds and exhibits perfect for anyone’s Instagram feed. The official website adds that “there are also ball pits, floral walls and glitter confetti, designed for creative selfies. There is even a room filled with fake food such as cupcakes and macaroons.” The museum has already sparked the interests of many online influencers who want to go to the museum for their next viral post. A museum built around the idea that it’s basically just one giant backdrop for photographs, is the new wave of business geared towards an influencer market. BBC projects the museum will get anywhere from 300-500 visitors a day. 

“I think it’s the future of museums, the main point is that it’s not only about selfies, but also about having a good time, being able to interact while experiencing art. I do think that people spend a lot of time on their phones and that’s why we try to combine that with something real and something fun. But I don’t think it is our responsibility to educate them,” says Petra Scharinger, co-creator of nofilter_museum to BBC.

Targeting that specific market is one of the smartest business decisions any company can make in 2019. Influencers get business based on the fact that their social media accounts have hundreds of thousands of followers. Those followers are basically an audience and their posts act as the entertainment, advertisements included. Companies contact these individuals to show off their product on their feed to reach that large following. Museums have seen this and want the same level of advertising. Thus, the Instagram museum was born.