The Future of Social Media: AI-Generated Images and the Demise of Instagram

Russell Kidson
Mar 15, 2023
Updated • Mar 15, 2023

Social media is constantly evolving, with new platforms and technologies emerging all the time. One of the most notable changes in recent years has been the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create images for social media platforms like Instagram. In this article, we will explore the rapid progress being made in AI-generated images and examine how these technologies may impact the future of Instagram and social media as a whole.

The Future of Social Media: AI-Generated Images and the Demise of Instagram

The rise of AI-generated images

As the use of AI-generated images on social media platforms continues to increase, it is important to consider the potential consequences. On the one hand, AI-generated images can be a powerful tool for creative expression and artistic experimentation. They can also help to streamline content creation and distribution, freeing up time and resources for other important tasks.

However, there are also concerns about the impact of AI-generated images on our perception of reality. With the lines between real and fake becoming increasingly blurred, it may become more difficult to trust the images we see online. This could have far-reaching implications for everything from political discourse to personal relationships.

In addition, the widespread use of AI-generated images could also have ethical implications. For example, if AI-generated images are used in advertising or marketing, it may be difficult to obtain the necessary consent from the individuals depicted in the images.

As we move forward into a future where AI-generated images are ubiquitous on social media, it will be important to carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of this development. Only by doing so can we ensure that we are able to make the most of this powerful technology while also mitigating any potential risks.

Related: The future of AI is now

Creating AI-images from scratch is easier than you think

To demonstrate the ease with which AI-generated images can be created, Twitter user Santiago, @svpino, created a simple Python code using Google Colab and an API key from Leap API to fine-tune a Stable Diffusion model. As Santiago points out, this process is entirely free, and anyone can acquire an API key by visiting

The experiment involved generating an unlimited number of hyper-realistic images of a specific individual, in this case, former US President Barack Obama. Within 30 minutes, Santiago created an Obama image generator using fewer than 100 lines of code. By uploading just two images for fine-tuning, a custom model was developed in under a minute, which could generate any number of Obama images as desired. The more images used for training, the better the resulting model becomes. 

The implications of AI-generated images on social media

While the development of AI-generated images has the potential to revolutionize the way we use social media, it also raises concerns about the impact on user engagement and the potential for misuse. Some have argued that the widespread use of AI-generated images could actually undermine the very foundations of social media, as users may become less engaged with content that they perceive as inauthentic or fake.

Furthermore, there is a risk that AI-generated images could be used to manipulate or deceive users, whether it's by spreading false information or creating false personas. This could erode trust in social media platforms and limit how much people are willing to interact with them. Another concern is that AI-generated images could exacerbate existing inequalities and biases. For example, if certain groups are overrepresented or underrepresented in these images, it could perpetuate harmful stereotypes and contribute to social injustice.

Click here to read our take on the demise of ethics in the AI sector.

The outlook isn’t all bleak

As AI-generated images continue to advance and become more prevalent on social media, they offer several potential benefits. For instance, they could help create a more personalized experience for social media users by analyzing their data and preferences, thus making the images more relevant and engaging.

Another benefit of AI-generated images is that they could streamline the content creation process, making it easier and more efficient to produce high-quality images for social media platforms. This would especially be advantageous for small businesses and content creators who may not have the resources to create images at the same scale as larger companies.

Moreover, AI-generated images have the potential to reduce the spread of harmful or offensive content on social media platforms. By automatically flagging or removing images that violate community guidelines, AI-generated image technology could help to create a safer and more inclusive environment for all users.

Related: GPT-4 - The most advanced AI yet

The outcome depends on implementation

It is worth noting that the realization of these potential benefits will largely depend on the responsible and ethical development and deployment of AI-generated images. This will require a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, including social media companies, developers, and regulators, to ensure that AI-generated images are used in a manner that is transparent, fair, and respectful of individual rights and privacy.

The future of AI-generated images on social media will depend on how effectively we balance the potential benefits with the potential risks and drawbacks. It is crucial to approach this technology in a way that enhances social media and improves the overall user experience while safeguarding users against potential harm. By striking the right balance, it may be possible to harness the power of AI-generated images to create a more engaging and inclusive social media environment for all users.

Related: Did Microsoft compromise on ethics for AI progress?


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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