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THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 2017 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS A G oogle s earch of how many people in the world are us ing Ins tagram shows that as many as 700 mil- lion active users share photos. About 400 million use it daily. 20% of users are Americans, which is equal to 77.6 million people, 31% of A merican women and 24% of men. 14 mil- lion Italians use it monthly, as recently announced by the social media co-founder Mike Krieger, an increase from 11 million at the end of 2016. According to analys ts , it is plaus ible to hypothesize a daily use of at least 8 million Italian users. As shown by US data, social photo- graphy is liked and used mostly by women and young adults. In January, there were 95 million photos shared (last year there were 70 million), for a total of 4.2 billion likes a day. The numbers and users are considerable, even for those who are not experienced in digital life. In s tagram, for thos e that don't use it or know of it, is a social network created in 2010 that allows users to take photos, apply high-definition filters to have better photos, and share them on F acebook, Tw itter, Tumblr or Flickr, just to give a few examples. It offers the abi- lity to geolocalize and tag photos (so you can share your experien- ces with other users), upload videos , publis h directly and make ads, or use paid content ads. Why are we giving you this data? Above all, why do we spe- cify these technical features? Because Italy, as stated by the Italian M inis ter of F oreign Affairs when presenting the mul- tiannual tourism plan, is the most photographed country on Instagram; it's where everyone first falls in love with Italy or goes to experience what it means to "live like an Italian" and admi- re our never-ending countryside, artistic and architectural beauty. In our globalized and above all digitized world, where touri- sm is now being promoted on channels far different from the traditional ones (in the sense that it means more on the set of a film than the classic promotion of a city of art; the video of a concert posted on the net where you see a city in the background is worth more than thousands of flyers with travel deals), being on social makes the difference. Often, online presence is even hard to imagine and manage, as it is no longer directed at a speci- fic target, as marketing and advertising schools teach, but to an extremely varied audience, so it is hard to imagine what paths your mes s age roads w ill go through, who it will reach, where it will end. But imagine what it's like to say that if Italy is posted and shared so much, if you geoloca- ted panoramas, if for example you see folklore events in real- time, giving other us ers the opportunity to interact, if you enter a home, a restaurant, a hotel while being shown a lovely beach or a resort, you are relaxed just by looking at it. Tourism can only benefit from full hands. Obviously knowing how to attract tourism requires much more than a photo that runs on social media, but at least in terms of visibility, the results can be quite surprising. If tourism already makes up 11.8% of the GDP and 12.8% of employment for Italy today, it is easy to imagine that investing in the sector is not only strategic for the country but necessary. In 2015, a good 52 million people visited Italy, confirming it as the fifth most visited destination in the world. The Strategic Plan will invest in innovation, digital technolo- gies, the enhancement of our heritage and our land, and if the system and economy of tourism are at the center of national poli- cies, the benefits cannot help but be widespread, since there is vir- tually s omething to s ee everywhere in Italy, and the numbers cannot help but grow. Then there is another impor- tant piece to reflect on and which is usually indicated by Ins tagram' s curios ity: on Instagram, pizza is the most photographed food in the world. It is evident that all the work that is being done to make pizza and Italian food universal can only make sense. Especially in light of 2018 w hen the year dedicated to Italian food will be held. One heritage, that of Made- in-Italy agro-food, which combi- nes know -how , artis tic and countryside beauties, represents one of the best business cards of our country in the world. Food and art tell the story of our lands and the communities that live there. A value to be promoted to which we all, on our vacations to Italy, can contribute. Just take a picture with Instagram! Vacation in Italy? Post your photos and advertise the Belpaese BARBARA MINAFRA

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